Support Your Local Salvation Army Food Pantry
Many Salvation Army locations operate community food pantries. It is one way they help meet the basic needs of the community. Food pantries provide free healthy food, and many also offer toiletries, hygiene products, and household cleaning items, as well as baby and back-to-school supplies for people who are struggling.
We rely on the generosity of others to keep pantry shelves filled. Financial donations are an easy way for companies and individuals to lend a hand. This enables the pantry to purchase specific items they need in bulk at a discounted rate. This type of cooperative buying, and keeping an eye on local sales, helps us stretch our budget.
It is important for pantries to purchase and select items that are tailored to meet local client needs. Respecting cultural and dietary restrictions goes a long way in developing strong relationships. Everyone should have access to nutritious foods they are familiar with and know how to prepare. Seeking help from a food pantry is not always easy, but the stigma is reduced when you feed people what they want to eat.
Another way food pantries receive support is through in-kind donations. These are non-cash gifts from a variety of sources including companies, stores, and individuals. Companies often donate items on an annual basis or upon request when we have a great need.
Local grocery stores provide overstock items and those nearing expiration on a weekly basis. They may include perishables such as: meat, seafood, dairy products, prepared deli items, prepared vegetable and fruit trays, and a variety of baked goods. Sometimes they send nonperishable items that are on clearance, discontinued, or may have a slight packaging defect.
Generous individuals who live in the community drop off items all the time! We suggest they follow these simple guidelines:
Visit the food pantry website or call and ask what is needed before buying items. Just like at home, the list changes on a weekly basis.
Donate shelf-stable items. These are foods and drinks that can be kept in your pantry and will not spoil. Please check the expiration dates. We cannot offer anything expired.
Purchase staple items. Consider these canned items: soup, fruit, vegetables, stew, fish, and beans. Also, pasta (white and whole grain), rice (white and brown), oil, salt, pepper, peanut butter, cereal, oats, granola bars, and baby food.
Consider essential, non-food items such as toiletries and hygiene products. They help people in crisis maintain their dignity. Suggestions include: body soap, shampoo, toothpaste/brushes, feminine hygiene products, baby/toddler diapers, and adult incontinence products.
Share your garden. Fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to come by in some areas. If you have excess, please donate your produce.
Food pantries offer so much more than nourishment for hungry people. They bring hope and an opportunity for long-term support that can aid a variety of different social problems. It is another way for love to flourish beyond hunger and spread across a community.
To learn more about The Salvation Army food pantry nearest you, visit https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/usc/location-search/.