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21 Items Donation Drives Really Need That You Can Give This Holiday Season

NOVEMBER 26, 2016  —  By Matthew Derrick  
Matthew Derrick

Matthew Derrick

Writer and sassy ginger currently residing in central Pennsylvania. Matt spends most of his free time online shopping for clothing that he doesn't need, perfecting the art of eye-rolling, and indulging in all forms of pop culture.

It's that time of year where families start preparing for their holiday traditions and lavish feasts.

While Thanksgiving is traditionally a day to give thanks for everything you have in your life, many people across the country who might otherwise not be able to partake are able to celebrate thanks to food banks and donations. In my area, a few weeks before the holiday, the boy scouts go door to door asking for neighbors to donate a few cans to help give someone an awesome Thanksgiving feast.

While most people donate whatever canned goods are cluttering up their pantries, many food banks still fail to receive the essentials necessary for comfort and well-balanced meals. To help ensure people are getting exactly what they need around the holidays, here's a list of the 21 items donation drives really need but hardly ever get.

1. Soup Packets

Like canned veggies, these taste great and last quite a while.

Read More: Here's Why Our Approach To Charity Might Be Doing More Harm Than Good

2. Spices

Most food donations can be a bit bland. By donating spices, you can help those in need chow down on flavorful feasts.

3. Whole-Wheat Pasta

All pasta is non-perishable, but whole-wheat pasta has the added bonus of extra fiber. Quinoa pasta is another awesome option!

4. Crackers and Tortillas

These items last a long time unopened, and they allow people in need to snack just like the rest of us.

5. Canned Meats

Some food banks struggle to provide enough protein options, so canned meats like Spam are perfect.

6. Toiletries

Most people fail to realize that people don't just need food to stay healthy. Good hygiene is critical, and with toiletry donations, you can help people feel comfortable and dignified.

7. Feminine Products

Women experiencing homelessness often can't afford to buy feminine products. They are always appreciated in women's shelters.

8. Chocolate

While not an essential, who doesn't need a little chocolatey boost every once in a while? We all have the right to indulge.

9. Popcorn

An excellent non-perishable snacking item that is also a healthy option if it's low in sodium.

10. Shelf-Stable Milk

Serving as a great source of calcium and protein, shelf-stable milk will not spoil in a few weeks like traditional milk will.

11. Granola Bars

Another healthy snacking choice that lasts quite a while! Plus, many of these bars pack a protein punch.

12. Low-Sugar Cereals

Cereals like Cheerios and Fiber One are high in fiber and contain whole grains, making them the perfect breakfast essentials.

13. Canned Chicken or Tuna

These sources of protein can be added to any meal without much hassle. Canned tuna and chicken are also non-perishable.

14. Socks

Socks not only keep those in need warm, but they can also provide comfort when morale is low.

15. Low-Sodium Vegetables

Canned veggies are full of fiber and vitamins. By purchasing items that are low in sodium, you can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

16. Beans

If meat is not readily available, all types of canned beans can serve as protein alternatives.

17. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another high-protein item that food drives like to receive. And who doesn't love peanut butter?

18. Juice Boxes

Most families accepting donations have at least one child in their household. By keeping 100 percent juice on hand, they can keep their little ones hydrated and healthy.

19. Olive Oil

As a cooking essential, this is one of the items food banks need most. An added bonus is that olive oil is a healthy fat!

20. Brown Rice

Even a handful of brown rice can go a long way. Not only is the grain filling, but it is easy to store and distribute. Better still is the fact that it's packed with vitamin B and fiber.

21. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is another great breakfast option for those who need to stay full.

Read More: One Boy Decided To Help Kids In Need, And He Didn't Let Bullies Stop Him

Well I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to be more conscious of what foods I'm donating during the holiday season. I never pass up an opportunity to serve my community. Which of these will you bring to your local donation drive?

(via BuzzFeed / KORD102.7)

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