The other day A came home with a project from preschool and to go along with it they have the kids bring in food for a food drive. I was hoping they still did this as there are times when I find I want to donate especially this time of year, but never seem to remember or have the opportunity to. I also want to teach my boys that it is better to give than receive and no matter what we happen to be going through there just might be someone out there that is worse off and could really use the help.
Money has been tight for many people this past year in this economy. I started our "better eating/whole foods" approach last January. Part of it was to help us save money as it is a lot cheaper for me to make a loaf of bread than to spend $2 on a loaf that has who knows what in it! It has helped us to eat better and healthier while saving a few bucks, plus it tastes about 10 times better!
As I sit here pondering what I want to donate, I remember a post Hallee made about her work in the soup kitchen. Basically its about the low quality of food that is being provided for these people, who many are in poor health. She goes on to say that if these people had better quality food they would be in better health. So I can imagine that the same people who go to a food bank could use the same quality of food.
I wandered through the store tonight trying to think of things that are more whole food appropriate so I can donate what I preach. Now I would LOVE to give them organic foods, but I'd much rather give them quantity vs. quality. Don't get me wrong organic is probably the best way to go, but if I spent $3 on a bag of organic dry beans only one family will profit. But if I get 3 bags of regular beans 3 families can have at least 3 meals of a better quality food, not great, but better.(Prices are a guess, I haven't priced organic dried beans, but I know regular in our store is around $1/lb).
So if you find in your heart you want to donate this holiday season, I challenge you to donate more whole foods vs. the "processed" stuff. Sure you can pick up 5 boxes of the blue box mac and cheese, but instead grab 5 lbs of dried beans for the same price(if not cheaper).
Here are some other suggestions:
-Old fashioned oatmeal
-whole wheat crackers
-whole wheat flour
-dried beans(black, red, kidney, white, etc)
-No sugar(or sugar substitute) jelly(Polaner's All Fruit is one)
-Natural Peanut Butter
-whole wheat pasta
-canned fruit(in juice not syrup)
-canned vegetables(no salt added)
-I'd like to say soup, but most of those are also loaded with chemicals and sodium, so maybe a low sodium broth.
-low sugar cereal(cheerios)
Other non-food items that they also look for:
If you have any other ideas, please feel free to share! Also let us know what YOU have donated this year!