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Sadly the list of non-perishable items required by food banks for helping families in need is very long.
This list includes, among other items, basic food such as flour, sugar, oil, rice, breakfast cereals, and canned vegetables. Of course you can also choose pastries and more expensive food that underprivileged families can’t treat themselves to.
If you want to give nourishing food that has a long shelf life, here is a list prepared by the nutritionists of Extenso.org:
Very nutritious and filling, they can be cooked in any number of ways. We propose more than one hundred easy and tasty recipes. And when it comes to the variety, you will be spoilt for choice: Lentils, chickpeas, black, red or white beans, etc.
Canned fish and seafood are rich in protein and contain good fats (omega 3 in particular). Salmon, sardines, herring, clam and mackerel. Remember to provide several varieties! If you choose tuna, first check the 2013 Ranking for sustainable tuna, published by Greenpeace to know which type has the least environmental impact.
There is a large variety of soups in the market, but they are generally very salty. Make sure you choose less salty versions.
SOS food par excellence, pasta has a very long shelf life. The whole-wheat variety is more nutritious and satisfying. As for the sauce or canned tomatoes, avoid glass containers, for these are not accepted in food drives since they may break.
They are great for lunch or a snack as they are rich in protein and dietary fibers. It’s better to opt for the natural and creamy type.
There are many types in the market. Choose those that are high in fiber and low in added fat or salt.
An interesting alternative to fresh fruits. choose the ones that have no added sugar.
The ones that contain whole grains as the main ingredient are preferable. Each serving should contain more than 3g of fiber, around 3g of protein, less than 3g of fat, and less than 5g of sugar.
Infant formula is expensive, and highly appreciated by poorer families.
If you decide to give milk, pick one that is stored at room temperature, or substitutes such as soya, rice or almond beverages.
And extra option for Canadians finally check our Advanced Recipe Search to find out which recipes cost less than $1.