Donating to a food bank? Consider cash over cans instead

Local

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – An executive with the local food bank says donating extra canned goods can be a good way to help your neighbors in need. But she says the best way is to support your local food bank with monetary donations.

“Because we’re a member of Feeding America and Feeding Texas, we’re able to get food at low-cost, no-cost, but we have to go to get it, and there’s transportation costs involved, and that’s really important to be able to have enough fuel to go get the food that’s needed for the people in need,” said Kathy Cox, chief development officer, from the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank.

Cox says food banks usually buy in bulk and tend to get discounts that average shoppers can’t. Buying items like eggs and milk directly from the supplier can lead to getting a few more items added on without the cost.

This is why most food banks tend to prefer funding over food, because it gives them more flexibility when they need it, and allows them to stretch every dollar.

“There are many ways to give, we need corporations to support us, we need foundations to support us, most of all we need donors and individual neighbors to help support us,” she said.

When a food banks receive food donations they need to be carefully sorted out, checked for expiration dates, and old food gets thrown out. This process can take food banks a long time and an increase in manpower. When they buy in bulk through cash donations, they can skip through the workload and families can get access to the food they need much quicker.

“We rely on the goodwill and support of our neighbors who give us donations, and el paso is a beautiful community for doing that, so we need you more than ever right now,: she said.

Overall, for every dollar donated to a food bank, it is able to provide more meals on a table than if you were to donate food you purchased at the store.

Food banks acknowledge feeding people isn’t just about providing food, no one can live a healthy life on non-perishable items alone. According to Feeding America, they try to stock their food banks with as much fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and plenty more perishable items that are vital for healthy lives as they can.

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