1. Canned Meats: Think tuna, soup canned beef, ham, chicken, or salmon.
2. Canned Vegetables: Think corn and green beans which are popular staples, but also potatoes, carrots, spinach, peas, or any other vegetable your family likes.
3. Canned Fruit: Think peaches, pears, fruit cocktail, applesauce, as well as dried fruit. Varieties without added sugar if possible.
4. Boxed Meals That Require ONLY WATER: Pasta meals, salad mixes, and more.
5. Low-sugar Cereal: Like plain cheerios, cornflakes, granola etc.
6. Peanut Butter: Full of protein and a kid favorite.
7. Instant Oatmeal and Grits: Again, varieties requiring only water are best.
8. Canned Beans: Canned or dried, red, black, kidney, northern or chickpea are all popular and useful.
9. Pasta: Of any shape and size. Also pasta sauce.
10. Biscuit/baking mixes: That require water only. Consider pancake, muffin, and cornbread mixes too!
11. Evaporated/Powdered Milk: In cans, cartons, or boxes.
12. Diapers: In sizes above newborn. Another necessity that many neighbors are thankful for. Also baby wipes.
13. Toiletries: Toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, warm socks, lip balm, gloves, stocking caps. Feminine hygiene products- unscented pads are the most universally used.
14. Spices: Like cinnamon, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika- just think of what you use most in your kitchen.
15. Chocolate: Not a necessity but is certainly an unexpected pick me up, especially when it comes time to fill stockings!
16. Money: Many food banks and pantries have access to lower cost supplies. Currently, for ever $1 you give to NSI, we can purchase $10 worth of food. Cash donations go far and allow us to be flexible when purchasing needed items.
Additional Information: Consider donating reusable sturdy shopping bags, as food is heavy and many neighbors walk to the pantry. Also, it takes a degree of humility to come to the pantry, it's nice to be able to blend in while walking or using public transportation. Also consider packaging, boxes and cans hold up better than bags in handling and transportation. One final note, many neighbors have to consider diabetes, and prefer low-sugar options when available. Neighborhood Services Inc. is grateful for any and all contributions!