Ways to help those struggling with food costs

There are over 2,000 food banks across the UK, which last year handed out more than 2.5m food parcels and provided services to people in need of their help.

Supporting your local food bank doesn’t have to mean just popping a tin of beans in a collection point at the supermarket, there are lots of other ways that you can help out, if you’re able to. For example, you could volunteer your time, donate money, sign petitions, email your local Member of Parliament or fundraise for them.

If you want to donate food and toiletries, think carefully about less obvious items people might need. Food banks will often have a surplus of certain goods, such as baked beans, and a lack of other items, such as cooking oils, stock, or long-life fruit juice. It’s good to check with your food bank to check what they need or some food banks post their list of required items on Give Food so have a look before you head out to the shops. Most food banks will only accept long life items. The Trussell Trust suggests donating:

Tinned foods – Including tinned fruit, vegetables, lentils, pulses, beans, tinned tomatoes, soup, fish, and meat. If possible, try to get tinned foods with ring pull openings as not everyone receiving an emergency parcel will have access to a tin openerCereals – Anything from oats to muesliLong life carbohydrates – Pasta, rice and grainsJars – Including jam, marmalade, peanut butter, marmite, chocolate spread, pasta sauces, pesto and curry saucesDrinks – Tea bags, instant coffee, UHT milk or longlife milk alternatives such as soy, oat or almond milk, fruit juice and squashDried goods – Sugar, salt, pepper, stock cubes, herbs and spices.

If you can afford to buy any ‘free from’ products (gluten free, dairy free, sugar free) it can be incredibly useful for people with intolerances, allergies or health conditions. Check with your local food bank if this is something they need.

Don’t forget that non-food items such as toiletries and household cleaning products are also in high demand. Popular items include:

Toiletries – This could be anything you can think of including deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, hand wash, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, mouth wash, tooth floss and hand wipesHousehold items – Anything you use in your own home is likely to be useful including laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid, cleaning spray, antibacterial wipes and kitchen rollFeminine products – These can be incredibly important and useful items, including sanitary towels, liners and tamponsBaby supplies – Nappies of all sizes, baby wipes and baby foodFace masks and hand sanitiser.

Author: wpadmin

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