Food bank donations

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Allo V Psycho
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Food bank donations

Post by Allo V Psycho » Thu May 12, 2022 11:28 am

I know there was a thread on food banks in the pandemic arena, but I thought a new one would be better here. Our friends (who are close to the poverty line themselves but still give to food banks, bless them) said that they give sweets and chocolate too, "for the kids", which seems like a very kind thought. And recent news comments about people being unable to cook things means that the pasta and rice we usually give may not be as useful as other things. So are there any tips about the most appropriate donations under these circumstances? The Trussell Trust lists:

Cereal
Soup
Pasta
Rice
Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
Lentils, beans and pulses
Tinned meat
Tinned vegetables
Tea/coffee
Tinned fruit
Biscuits
UHT milk
Fruit juice

But what works best for 'not needing to be cooked'? If we put cheese in, how long is it out the chill cabinet before the goods get to the recipient? And what about microwave things (like microwave rice)? What's the energy cost of two minutes of microwave electricity, or should we assume that there won't be any electricity at all? And what is the feeling of branded goods versus 'saver' goods? I wondered if it might be nice to get a tin of Heinz tomato soup rather than the cheapest - or would it be better to donate two tins of the cheapest version? Same with chocolate and sweets. We donate through the local supermarkets, Morrisons and Sainsbury. Morrisons customers seem to give a bigger volume of stuff than the Sainsbury's ones do.

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dyqik
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by dyqik » Thu May 12, 2022 12:49 pm

Cash, and let the food bank sort out what to do with it.

They can probably also access bulk buying discounts from suppliers.

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Little waster
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by Little waster » Thu May 12, 2022 12:52 pm

dyqik wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 12:49 pm
They can probably also access bulk buying Viscounts from suppliers.
Is what I first read, which made sense in context if a little specific. :oops:
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dyqik
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by dyqik » Thu May 12, 2022 12:55 pm

Little waster wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 12:52 pm
dyqik wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 12:49 pm
They can probably also access bulk buying Viscounts from suppliers.
Is what I first read, which made sense in context if a little specific. :oops:
Was the context stuffing/bribing the House of Lords to pass benefit increases?

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Little waster
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by Little waster » Thu May 12, 2022 1:18 pm

dyqik wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 12:55 pm
Little waster wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 12:52 pm
dyqik wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 12:49 pm
They can probably also access bulk buying Viscounts from suppliers.
Is what I first read, which made sense in context if a little specific. :oops:
Was the context stuffing/bribing the House of Lords to pass benefit increases?
Only if they are from the House of Bourbon.
This place is not a place of honor, no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here, nothing valued is here.
What is here was dangerous and repulsive to us.
This place is best shunned and left uninhabited.

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Brightonian
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by Brightonian » Thu May 12, 2022 8:33 pm

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 11:28 am
I know there was a thread on food banks in the pandemic arena, but I thought a new one would be better here. Our friends (who are close to the poverty line themselves but still give to food banks, bless them) said that they give sweets and chocolate too, "for the kids", which seems like a very kind thought. And recent news comments about people being unable to cook things means that the pasta and rice we usually give may not be as useful as other things. So are there any tips about the most appropriate donations under these circumstances? The Trussell Trust lists:

Cereal
Soup
Pasta
Rice
Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
Lentils, beans and pulses
Tinned meat
Tinned vegetables
Tea/coffee
Tinned fruit
Biscuits
UHT milk
Fruit juice

But what works best for 'not needing to be cooked'? If we put cheese in, how long is it out the chill cabinet before the goods get to the recipient? And what about microwave things (like microwave rice)? What's the energy cost of two minutes of microwave electricity, or should we assume that there won't be any electricity at all? And what is the feeling of branded goods versus 'saver' goods? I wondered if it might be nice to get a tin of Heinz tomato soup rather than the cheapest - or would it be better to donate two tins of the cheapest version? Same with chocolate and sweets. We donate through the local supermarkets, Morrisons and Sainsbury. Morrisons customers seem to give a bigger volume of stuff than the Sainsbury's ones do.
Per dyqik, cash is obviously a lot more efficient, though I wonder whether a very visible crate by the exit is better for encouraging more donations. Personally I've not donated food for a couple of years now, mainly because there have not been these donation crates in any of the places I've been staying the last couple of years.

I used to imagine possible worst circumstances for people, e.g. living in a tent with no electricity. So I'd donate ready-to-eat food, often tinned fruit, pâté, sardines etc. where the tins had ring-pulls (in case they didn't even have a tin opener), multipacks of those small fruit juice cartons that come with straws, and so on.

One time on the way out of the supermarket the donation crate was empty when I put my multipack of tinned tuna in. Presumably the crate had just been emptied for the food bank. Anyway, I wondered how long it took to fill up so I'd make a mental note each time I went past of how full it was. It was filling up quite slowly, I noticed, barely changing from day to day. My tinned tuna just sat there, slowly being surrounded by tins of beans, massive bags of pasta etc. About a week later, when the crate was still fairly empty, I noticed my tinned tuna had disappeared. I know the crate had not been emptied for the food bank because I recognised some of the other goods that had been donated after me were still there. I wonder what happened there.

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dyqik
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by dyqik » Thu May 12, 2022 9:22 pm

Brightonian wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 8:33 pm
Per dyqik, cash is obviously a lot more efficient, though I wonder whether a very visible crate by the exit is better for encouraging more donations. Personally I've not donated food for a couple of years now, mainly because there have not been these donation crates in any of the places I've been staying the last couple of years.
I'd assume that they are, as well as being a way for people to use BOGOF type offers to donate.

But if you're going to spend significant time thinking about it outside the supermarket, then cash is the best option.

EACLucifer
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by EACLucifer » Thu May 12, 2022 9:24 pm

Cash is of course the most flexible thing to donate.

I've donated sanitary products before, people who are too poor to buy food tend to be too poor to buy other essentials, too.

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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri May 13, 2022 6:18 am

I'm GAYE for the Trussell Trust, because we shop online.
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Food bank donations

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri May 13, 2022 9:38 am

My local food bank has a list on their website of what items they need and what they already have too much of. Generally they seem to have loads of staples like rice, pasta and beans, and little to put with it.

Tinned vegetables are very good. No prep, healthy and they're pre-cooked, so you just have to warm them however you like, or eat cold like a salad (I do the latter during fieldwork). Couscous is the most convenient carb, because you just need a source of hot water (kettle or tap) to cook it. Always my choice when staying in cheap hostels with no facilities. Similarly instant noodles or packet meals/sauces (to which I add tinned veg). Crackers are indestructible and versatile.

I'm sure food banks can get more bang for the buck with a cash donation, but adding some useful impulse purchases (especially taking advantage of deals like BOGOFs or loyalty card points) helps too.
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