Best Non-Perishable Foods to Donate

Cans with text overlay - best non-perishable foods to donate

Most food found on the shelves of typical grocery stores are shelf-stable, non-perishable food items that can be donated to local food banks, but are these always the best choices for people facing hunger? Additionally, though SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) are critical to preventing hunger, the options available to recipients are not always the healthiest, especially in food deserts where there are far fewer places to shop.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) recognizes hunger as a health issue. A main component of our mission is to provide foods and meals that are healthy, nutritious, and free from being highly processed with added chemicals and refined sugars. Simultaneously, food items need to last a long time to accommodate food pantries, as well as clients who might not have a way to refrigerate foods at home.

A pallet of peanut butterNon-Perishable Foods to Donate to CFBNJ

If you want to join our mission to end hunger in New Jersey by donating food to CFBNJ, the best non-perishable food items to give are canned and packaged whole foods with as little additives as possible, such as:

  • Canned fruits, vegetables, or beans
  • Canned protein (tuna, salmon, chicken, etc.)
  • Canned soup, stew, broth, pasta sauce
  • Packaged foods (seeds, nuts, oats, granola, rice, quinoa, beans, pasta)
  • Plastic jar foods (nut/seed butters, jelly, cooking oil)
  • Shelf-stable milk (dairy, oat, nut, etc.)
  • Please note: we do not accept glass containers. Learn more on the list of our most-needed foods, found on our FAQ page.

Food insecure households are usually in circumstances that force them to purchase the least expensive options with the most calories to sustain them, which typically are the unhealthiest foods. CFBNJ understands this and has made it a priority to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to our neighbors in need. In fact, almost a quarter of the food distributed by CFBNJ last year was fresh produce!

Watermelon in warehouse - front is out of focus, back is in focusDonations of food are crucial to our mission. Last year, 36% of the food we distributed was given to us by people just like you who want to reach out and help their community by bringing food donations to us directly or holding a virtual food drive. However, with our enormous purchasing and sourcing power, CFBNJ is able to obtain the highly nutritious food that hungry people in New Jersey need, so please consider giving a monetary gift today.