Food banks and the initiatives they support seem to be an essential part of our societies, as they help the people who are less than fortunate or have stumbled into hard times. The first food bank was established more than 50 years ago, back in 1967.

And since then, the concept of donating food to those less fortunate has become a backbone in many communities. Food pantries are on a smaller scale than banks, but they basically function in conjunction. A pantry is supplied with food by the food bank, and people can then receive their essentials from the local pantry operation.

However, as with many things, you cannot just chuck things at the food pantry (or food bank) and hope something sticks, because your good will might end up causing more problems than it solves. So, knowing what is welcome as donations to food banks is necessary. That’s where the internet comes in.

Turns out, there are dos and don’ts when it comes to donating to food banks

Image credits: PunkyMantilla

Apparently, someone compiled a list of items that will always be welcomed by food banks. The list originally appeared on Facebook, and the Twitter user Piney Mantilla (a former pantry worker) confirmed that the list is accurate and, in fact, very useful as it depicts what items people can donate without a doubt that they will be rejected.

This Facebook account shared a list of welcome donations to food banks/pantries

Food and meals are not the only items you can donate; hygienic products are on the list as well

Image credits: PunkyMantilla

Image credits: PunkyMantilla

If you are struggling, food is obviously a much-needed commodity. But sometimes, there are items that can be just as crucial. Of course, these usually are hygienic products, something that often slips our minds when we think of food banks. However, everything from soaps to dishwashing liquid to diapers would also help people in need. After all, those who are suffering in these hard times likely have sparse income, so everyday essential items might be out of reach to some of them.

Donating cash is also acceptable as it helps the food pantry to cover what’s missing

Image credits: PunkyMantilla

Image credits: PunkyMantilla

Another good point the Twitter user raised was the donation of money. Sometimes people, instead of donating food items, simply give charity in the form of cash. And that’s okay—or maybe even more than that. Food banks and pantries sometimes have discounts when it comes to certain food items, meaning they would get more for their money than your average person. That doesn’t mean we should all start throwing money at this problem—every donation helps, be it some food, a bar of soap that you know you won’t use, or even a ready-to-bake cake mix for special occasions. Sharing is what matters!

People were moved by the post and were quick to offer their own opinions and suggestions

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