Nutrition Unscrambled

Tis the Season to Healthy Giving

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
December 12th, 2011

Today’s post is about donating food to food pantries. We decided to continue the annual tradition of doing a food drive around the holidays at work. Many of us donate to pantries, but this season as health professionals I encourage you to give and collect “healthier items” to give to the pantries. Consider donating whole wheat items instead of white for grains, avoid giving fruits in syrup, avoid giving sugar-filled cereals, etc. Some food pantries are actually refusing candies and cookies as donations.

Also, check to see if your food pantry takes perishable items. Remember eggs are an affordable and great source of protein, if you are able to donate them!!! Monetary donations are also often accepted and pantries may prefer this because they can buy in bulk and get items they need at the time.

Here are some great donation options noted in a recent article. Your food pantry may have a “wish list”, so be sure to check it out as well.

Good options:
• low-sugar cereal such as Cheerios or Chex;
• peanut butter
• cans or plastic containers of juice (make sure it’s 100 percent juice)
• canned vegetables, any variety, marked lite or low-sodium;
• bags of pinto or black beans;
• rice
• canned tuna fish (packed in water)
• powdered milk fortified with vitamin D.

Avoid donating:
• foods high in sodium, fat, oils or sugar
• chips, candy, cookies and crackers
• sugary beverages
• items in glass bottles
• items that are expired or in damaged packaging.

For our Registered Dietitian readers: offer the food pantry copies of healthy and simple recipes. Many food pantries are delighted to be able to give this information out along with food to help people learn how to use the different foods.

These are just a few ways you can give back to your community as a group or individually. I hope you’ll consider this during the holiday season and beyond. Many people do say they would like to volunteer but do not know how to get started. Look to your local communities for guidance!


Nutrition Unscrambled  is written by nutrition experts with the Egg Nutrition Center, which is funded by the American Egg Board. It is monitored and maintained by the public relations agency of record. The mission of the Egg Nutrition Center is to be a credible source of nutrition and health science information and the acknowledged leader in research and education related to eggs. For more information, click here.

About the Bloggers

Mitch Kanter, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about
Mitch, click here.
Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD is the Senior Director, Nutrition Education at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Marcia, click here.
Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN is the Program Manager, Nutrition Research and Communications at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Anna, click here.

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All information provided within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and it is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. Please consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or before making changes to your diet or health behaviors.