Good Life

Helping Hands: Area food pantries need what’s in yours

In 2014, food pantries in the Centre Region served 5,502 individuals. This includes children, adults and the elderly; individuals and families struggling to pay bills and provide nutritional meals, whether long term or due to recent struggles. Items from these facilities allow families to supplement their grocery budget. The food banks want to provide a variety of foods and hope to promote, encourage and support a healthy community.

The support of volunteers, supporters, donors and community members who donate food items is invaluable to provide meals to Centre County residents.

The following is a list of items that would be important donations. Please consider items such as condiments, salad dressings and baking mixes, as food pantries cannot purchase these items with state or federal funds. Coffee filters and cleaning supplies also are important items to donate. It is preferable that items donated are still within their expiration dates.

• Bottled and spray oil including vegetable, olive and canola

• Grains including whole wheat items, rice, quinoa and oats

• Canned fruits, vegetables, soups and meats (tuna, chicken, beef), including lower sodium and lower fat varieties

• Frozen vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, quick meals and breakfast foods

• All types of soups, including lower sodium and low fat styles

• All types of pasta, including macaroni and cheese and ravioli

• Pasta sauce and cooking sauces

• Bagged and boxed stuffing

• Raw and boxed potatoes

• Spices

• Condiments including mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise

• Baking items including cake, brownie and cookie mixes; pudding; and Jell-O, including sugar-free and gluten-free items

• Jellies, dressings and marinades

• Peanut butter

• Cereal

• Crackers and pretzels

• Diabetic-approved foods

• Beverages such as canned milk, juice, bottled water and coffee

• Laundry detergent

• Paper towels

• Toilet paper

• Paper plates and plastic service ware

• Coffee filters

• Toothpaste and toothbrushes

• Bath and hand soap

• Cleaning products

• Pet food

If you are interested in donating fresh produce, please contact your local food pantry to inquire about donations, delivery, etc.

Monetary donations are encouraged; these allow each food pantry to shop for its needs.

Each pantry has designated days and times for distributions. Contact it directly about dropping off donations, organizing a food drive, and/or information about receiving services.

Call the Centre County Office of Adult Services at 355-6768 or Community Help Centre at 800-494-2500 for more information.