I popped by one of my neighbourhood supermarkets to snag a couple of things this afternoon, and the food bank fill-up sponsored by one of the local radio stations was in full swing. They have food packages already made up of non-perishables that are reasonably priced. You can also donate any other canned or packaged non-perishable food. Last year I bought a couple of the packs and threw them in, but regretted it when I glanced at what was in them. This year I gave them the once over and then opted to create my own. The packs are full of crap! No-name instant macaroni dinners, salty soups, sugary juices . . . yuck. The nutrition student in me said no thanks! Just because times are tough and someone needs a little help from the food bank doesn't mean they should be (or want to be) eating junk that is definitely not nutritious. Instead I loaded up a basket with bags of brown rice, several varieties of dried beans, lentils, peas, and barley. I got twice as much (in weight) food in my basket for the same amount of money had I bought the pre-pack, and I left feeling good about the nutritional value of what I had donated.
Times are tougher this year, and the food bank needs help filling up. If you can't get to a donation location, you can go online and make a monetary donation. Every one dollar you donate turns into three dollars of food with the extra buying power afforded by the food bank. So drink one less bottle of wine, or eat one less dinner out, and make a donation that will really make a difference. Check out the basics for babies drive on the foodbank site as well.