Here's Why You Should Never Donate Canned Goods To The Food Bank
Michelle Shreeve 12/19/2016
Around this time of year, food banks are in desperate need of food, water, and blankets. For most of us, we immediately take a trip to our pantry, gather some food, and then drop it off at the food bank. We feel better doing this knowing that we are able to help people.
Although this is a noble thing for us to do, not everything that we donate is a good thing. In fact, if you are the type of person who always reaches for the canned goods, then you might want to change the way you donate.
Canned food drives happen all around us, especially during this time of year. You will see signs posted at your library, at your child's school, at work, and even at your local churches. Although this is all well and good to try and help others, in the end, you really aren't helping an even bigger issue if you donate canned goods.
Donating to charity is a wonderfully noble thing to do, but it is also about how you are doing it that really counts. People who donate canned goods should think twice. In terms of charity, canned goods actually have a lower rate of charitable return. What this means is, you as the consumer pays more than if the charities just purchased the canned goods themselves.
Let's face it, canned goods are bulky, and at times can be unhealthy for families to eat because of all of the preservatives contained within them. Food is food, and anyone in need isn't necessarily going to be picky with what they choose to eat or not eat. Yet still, everything comes back to the charitable return that occurs with purchasing canned goods.
For example, if you go to purchase a can of tuna for $1, you instead could have purchased $4 worth of tuna for your $1--that is, if you gave the money to a charity worker as opposed to purchasing it yourself. Charity workers can stretch their funds more than you could, just being a regular consumer on the outside.
The holidays and special events that businesses host thinking they are truly helping out food banks, is actually hurting the foodbanks. It would be better if the businesses collected donations and turned around and gave charities the donation money instead. This way they can use the money to make it stretch to buy more food than you ever could have donated.
Aside from that, think about what food banks go through upon arrival of a food donation delivery. They receive anything from boxed goods, to canned goods, to packaged goods and more. They have to sort each individual item they receive out, check for expiration dates, quality of food, and other tedious tasks. Imagine how much easier it would be for a food bank if they just received money and did the food shopping themselves?
By letting food banks shop for the food itself, it will make their lives easier, as well as they will be able to make the money stretch longer to get more for their money--which means more food for the food bank in return.
If you truly want to help, call a particular food bank that you would like to donate directly to, and tell them what your concerns are regarding giving them money for food as opposed to bringing canned goods to them. Chances are, they will more than likely tell you that donating money can go farther for them than donating food ever could.
Watch this video to get a behind-the-scenes look at a food bank.
Giving to charities is a beautiful thing, and is something we should do more of--no matter the time of year. Please share this with others, so we can help spread more food to those who truly need it the most!