Please remember that what goes into a box is based on what is donated. Often these come to a pantry from a food bank. All items are helpful but some are more helpful than others. Don't let it stop you from donating if you can't get an item that's listed below. Truly, every little bit helps.
* People who receive food pantry boxes benefit most from items they can make a meal from. Examples would be canned or powered milk with a box of cereal, peanut butter with bread or crackers or spaghetti sauce and pasta.
* Cans of soup are good but can usually only feed one person. The large envelopes that contain enough for a family are even better.
* The item people most like to donate is veggies. It's no coincidence that it's also the basis of many food boxes. Flour, corn meal and cooking oil can help put a meal together. So can beans and rice. A casserole in a box that contains everything needed for a meal is better than a box of Hamburger Helper.
* Moms often appreciate sugar drink mixes such as Kool-aid. This goes farther than soda and gives kids a change from water. It's also not likely to be donated to bee given in a food pantry box.
* Cans of fruit are good. The best varieties are the ones kids are most likely to eat.
* What poor people need in a food box contain luxuries that we usually take for granted. Toilet paper, paper towels, soap, dishwashing liquid, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste are not covered by food stamps. Not every food pantry accepts these donations. Many do. Call the charity of your choice to double check before donating items.
* Macaroni and cheese is always good. The macaroni and cheese that doesn't need milk or butter are better than the ones that do.