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7 Items Food Banks Need the Most

While food banks are grateful for the many donations they receive, there are certain items that are in shorter supply than others.  Here are just seven items to consider donating to your local food bank or to a future food drive.

Non-perishable protein:  From canned meat and fish to beans and soups, shelf-stable protein items go a long way for those in need.

Shelf-stable milks:  Food banks are always in need of regular milk, but since it expires quickly and needs refrigeration, it's often difficult to keep in stock.  Shelf-stable milks, like soy or almond milk, are always a great item to donate.  Plus, they're ideal for those who are diary sensitive.

Dairy products:  Now for those who aren't dairy sensitive, milks and cheeses are a welcome addition to any food bank.  If you plan on donating dairy items, it would be a good idea to contact your food bank ahead of delivery to make sure they have enough refrigerator space for your items.

Grains and pastas:  Similar to the previously mentioned non-perishable protein, grains and pastas are a great way to bulk up a meal.  Plus, they're also cost effective.  Those looking to help out a local food bank can usually find a good sale at a local supermarket and snag a few extra boxes of pasta or bags of rice to donate.

Baby food:  Whether it's jar foods or formula, baby food items are often in low supply.

Pet food:  Some food banks also accept donations for our four-legged friends.  Like with dairy products, always make sure your local food bank accepts pet food before delivering any donation.

You and your time:  Pantries and care boxes don't just stock and fill themselves!  Food banks are always looking for volunteers to sort through donations and help create inventory of what items they have and don't have.  If you're looking to get more involved in your community, volunteering your time is one of the best ways to do so.