Fill a bag with more than food


Most people are reminded about the need to donate food during the holiday season, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the food bank typically holds their food drive campaigns. At this time of the year the paper food drive bags are often included with the local flyers that are distributed to each household. Volunteers may also take these bags door-to-door encouraging the community to donate non-perishable products that can be distributed through the many different hamper and meal programs providing food assistance in the region.

The Food bank kicked off their Thanksgiving Food Drive on September 27. During the food drives we’re often reminded over the next few days and weeks about the number of people who rely on our food donations for assistance throughout the year. Each food drive also sets a goal of how much food they predict they’ll need between drives to support the number of people in need. All non-perishable food donations are graciously appreciated and accepted, but there are certain items that are in more demand than others. Click here to find out which specific items are most in need.

Anyone who has seen the lines for the local food pantries knows that there is plenty of need. But one thing that many people never think to donate is all the “other” necessities or extras to help lead a normal life. The people coming for food assistance are coming to our program after facing the financial struggle of not having money for food, which likely means that they also don’t have the money for rent, basic hygiene products, entertainment, utilities, etc. This is especially true for those living on a fixed income such as Ontario Works or a senior’s pension such as Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan.

As a food bank we work primarily to distribute food, but patrons also turn to us looking for assistance with hygiene products, cleaning supplies, and non-essential but desirable foods such as coffee, birthday cake mixes, etc.

Some of the most commonly requested items are:

  • Birthday cakes, cake mixes, or other items appropriate to serve at a childs birthday party;
  • Body wash, bath soap or bars of soap;
  • Body lotion and moisturizer;
  • Boost, ensure, and other meal replacement drinks and bars;
  • Cleaning products such as bathroom cleaners and all-purpose cleaners;
  • Cotton swabs, Q-tips and other cleansing pads;
  • Deodorant;
  • Feminine hygiene products like tampons and maxi pads;
  • Garbage and Ziploc (sandwich) bags;
  • Laundry soap;
  • Pet food (for all types of animals) and cat litter;
  • Pull-ups or adult diapers, and baby wipes;
  • Razors and shaving cream;
  • Soy, rice, almond, goat’s milk – essentially non lactose type milks;
  • Shampoo and conditioner;
  • Tea, coffee and coffee filters;
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex and other paper products;
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.

Basically if you woke up and used or needed a specific item this morning, many of our patrons also likely needed these items as well. So keep in mind: when you’re out buying your “favourite” hygiene, cleaning or “non-essential” food product that there’s someone else who would truly appreciate if you could grab an extra one to donate to our program (click here for map and to get directions). Or continue to remember that there are donation bins in all the grocery stores that happily accept donations at any point in the year and very appreciated!

Donate one or two items and make a difference!

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One Response to “Fill a bag with more than food”

  1. People helping people – the rising cost of food and House of Friendship « Hofemergencyfoodassistance's Blog Says:

    […] bring, but we’ll still need your support. You can do that by volunteering; donating food or other essential non-food items; or simply by staying up-to-date on current events. Because without your support our programs […]

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