Center for Civic Engagement

Food Pantry Donation Guide

Food pantries are always in need of donations to ensure they can continue to support individuals and families in our community. Below you'll find a list of suggested donations.

If you're donating from your home pantry, please check expiration dates before donating and throw out old items.

Thank you for supporting our community!


  • Please DO Donate

    • High protein foods (tuna, spam, peanut butter, beans)
    • Canned or dried fruits and vegetables
    • Pasta and pasta sauces
    • Meal mixes (Hamburger Helper, pancake mix, instant potatoes, macaroni & cheese, etc.)
    • Canned meals (soups, chili, stews)
    • Everyday spices (salt, pepper) and other spices
    • Basic cooking materials (flour, sugar, baking soda/powder, evaporated milk)
    • Condiments (jams/jellies, mayo, gravy packets, syrup)
    • Cereals (hot and cold)
    • Juices
    • During the holidays, holiday-related food items (stuffing, cranberry sauce)
    • Paper products (toilet paper, paper towels)
    • Soap and shampoo (regular sized)
    • Toothpaste & toothbrushes
    • Other hygiene items (razors, tampons, pads, hair brushes)
    • Pet food and supplies (kitty litter, collars, leashes)
    • Household supplies (cleaning supplies)
    • New or lightly used clothing (coats, hats)
    • New undergarments (underwear, socks, bras)
    • New Shoes
    • Blankets
    • Cash or check donations (made out to the food pantry)
    • Nonperishable milk products (shelf stable, evaporated, powdered)
    • Healthy snacks (granola bars, energy bars)

  • Please Avoid Donating

    • Alcohol
    • Candy or other sweets (cookies, cakes)
    • Top Ramen noodle packs
    • Used food items (gently used clothing is fine!)
    • Expired items
    • Broken items
    • Other low nutrition items
    • Products that require special equipment to make (keurig packets, unground coffee)
    • Home canned or jarred items
    • Food without labels or expiration dates
    • Large appliances*
    • Perishable items**

    *Contact food pantries directly to see if they need large appliances. Generally they do not have room to store large appliances, so they can only accept these donations when they have a client in need of the item right away.

    **Contact local food pantries to arrange perishable donations directly!

  • Donating Fresh Food

    Fresh food can be a fantastic donation to local food pantries, but you must be aware of how you will be donating. If you are donating through a food drive, fresh food will likely go bad before it can be brought to the pantry. So if you want to donate fresh, contact the food pantry of your choice directly and ask when and where you can drop off fresh food.

  • Holiday Donations

    During the holidays, check with local food and supplies pantries before donating toys, gifts or perishable items. Many times they have specific lists from which you can buy to supply local families!