Tis the season (hopefully) for helping those in need. It should always be The Season For Helping; but with the holidays and cold weather, there's always a greater need for help.

So, you want to help by donating to your local food bank, but you're not sure WHAT to donate.

Good thing The Chive and I are here to help!


WHAT FOOD BANKS (GENERALLY) REALLY NEED

#1: CASH
Folks may feel weird about donating money to a food bank, but straight cash can help a food bank go out and purchasing exactly what they need.

#2: DIAPERS
Diapers are NOT eligible for WIC (Women, Infants, and Children). Daycares aren't big on cloth diapers. Every little bit helps.

#3: FEMININE-HYGIENE PRODUCTS
They're most often taxed and ineligible for food stamps, and they are NEEDED.

#4: KID-CENTRIC FOOD
Parents who need help from food banks need to be as efficient as they can with food, and that includes convincing their kids to eat whatever they get from food banks. Something as simple as soup with fun-shaped noodles can make a world of a difference.

#5: DRY GOODS THAT DON'T NEED TO BE COOKED
Granola bars, fruit cups, etc. Some folks may not have electricity or cooking appliances, so things that can be eaten as-is will help them.

#6: INSTANT COFFEE/TEA
Seniors especially appreciate instant decaf coffee. It can be a social help to them as well, because they can invite someone over for coffee.

#6: REUSABLE TOTE BAGS
These things were gold when my family was on WIC. They're great stand-ins for grocery bags, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc.

#7: LOW SODIUM/LOW SUGAR/KOSHER/NUT-FREE FOODS
Help out those with blood pressure problems, diabetes, nut allergies, etc.

#8: PET FOOD
Make sure that the food bank accepts pet food first. And don't judge the poor/in-need for having a pet. YOU try being poor AND lonely!

If all else fails, just stop by and ASK what they need!

H/T: The Chive