Food Pantry Wish List (FN1651, Jan. 2015)

Use these ideas to help you choose healthful foods to donate to food pantries.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

Availability: Web only

Use these ideas to help you choose healthful foods to donate to food pantries.

Compare Nutrition Facts labels to get the most nutrition for your money.

If you wish to donate fresh and/or frozen fruits, vegetables, meat or other perishable food items, be sure to contact the food pantry/distribution center first to be sure it can accept them.

Keep perishable items refrigerated or frozen to maintain their safety and quality.


Bran cereals


Bread or muffin mixes

Cold and hot cereals

Dry noodles and pasta


Graham crackers

Granola bars

Infant cereal

Macaroni and cheese mixes

Noodle mixes


Pancake mix


Rice and rice mixes

Shredded wheat

Whole-grain crackers


Baby food – vegetables

Canned tomato products

Canned vegetables

Fresh and frozen vegetables*

Spaghetti sauce

Vegetable juice

Vegetable soup


Apple sauce

Baby food – fruit

Canned and boxed 100 percent fruit juice

Canned fruit

Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.)

Fresh and frozen fruit*

Fruit leather made from 100 percent fruit


Evaporated milk

Fresh milk, yogurt and cheese*

Infant formula

Instant breakfast drinks

Nonfat dry milk

Powdered milk

Shelf-stable (UHT) milk

Protein Foods

Baked beans

Bean soup

Beef stew

Canned and dry beans

Canned chicken

Canned chili

Canned tuna or salmon

Fresh or frozen meat, poultry and fish*

Peanut butter



Jelly and jam


Salad dressings



Vegetable oils

* Before you donate fresh or frozen foods, check that the facility has refrigerator or freezer storage facilities.


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