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Dusty boxes of mac ‘n cheese, dented cans of ravioli and baked beans, creamed corn and cake mix past their expiration date. Certainly doesn’t sound appetizing, but sadly, this is what’s often donated to local food pantries, especially common during holiday food drives. In today’s Get FUELED segment, Molly shares key strategies to donating with mindfulness, intention and respect.

Four things to consider:

  • No glass – food pantries cannot take products in glass containers
  • Avoid jumbo size products – these weigh down the bags and boxes, and often cannot be distributed
  • Check the expiration date – food pantries also cannot accept expired foods
  • Ask what’s needed! Call your local food bank and ask if they need specific items

Donating Ochsner Eat Fit Style:

Just because it’s nutritious doesn’t mean it has to be pricey – or that it can’t taste good. A few examples include:  

  • Brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, oats
  • Beans and lentils – dried or canned (e.g. Blue Runner Creole Cream Style beans with no salt added)
  • Canned tuna or salmon
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Low sodium canned soups
  • Canned veggies with no salt added vegetables
  • Canned fruits with no sugar added
  • Plant-based oils such as olive oil or non-GMO olive oil (in plastic, not glass)
  • Low sodium seasoning, dried herbs, spices

More Resources:

Print out the Ochsner Eat Fit Food Pantry Donation Guide, link here, and encourage friends, family and coworkers to donate more nutritious foods.

Check out the Food Dignity Podcast: Best Donations for a Food Drive, featuring Yvette Quantz, Ochsner’s Eat Fit Acadiana Registered Dietitian.

The bottom line:  What we give matters. Donate mindfully, with respect and care.


Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO and more!   Follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD – and check out her weekly podcast; just search ‘Molly Kimball’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.