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10 Things Food Banks Want, But Won’t Ask For

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

A week from today, October 30th, marks the return of our annual Food-a-Bago food drive and we invite you to help us bulk up the CHOW warehouse with non-perishable foods so that together, we can make sure that not a single person Broome County has to worry about finding a way to provide a meal to their family during the upcoming winter season.

Did you know that some things are in higher demand at food banks than others? Because they aren’t essentials, these things aren’t typically ones that staff asks the public for, but a survey on Reddit asked volunteers what things people who visit their food bank would most appreciate receiving and these were the top 10 answers.




Think about it- people who rely on help from a food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread and such. But just like you and me, they love spices. Looking for an idea of what kind of spice you could donate? Salt and pepper, of course, would be great. But other popular spices are seasoned salt, chili powder, oregano, basil, and garlic salt.


Baby Toiletries

If you’ve got a kid, you can probably figure out the type of things people are in need of. Think about how many diapers and wipes your little one goes through. Those are always appreciated. Also appreciated are baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food and, bottles.

Feminine Products

Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, and panty liners are much appreciated.


No, chocolate isn’t an essential, but think about how nice it would be if you had nothing to be surprised with a chocolate bar or brownie mix.


A lot of times food stamps won’t cover things like toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and shampoo.

Canned Meat and Jerky

For people who might have trouble getting enough protein, these products pack them.



Crackers last for months and virtually everyone likes to eat them.


Packets of Soup Seasoning

All it takes is a packet of soup seasoning mixed with some rice or beans, and a can of veggies and a whole meal has been made.


From a former homeless person: “Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.

Canned Fruit

Food banks get a lot of pineapple, but they really love when other kinds of fruit are donated.

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