Food Pantries Need Non-Food Donations, Too

People who need help from the food bank often need more than just food. You can help them by donating cleaning products and personal hygiene products in addition to cans. (Photo: Pixel Drip/flickr)

Food pantries and food banks see a sharp increase in need at the holidays, and they are grateful for cash donations, donations of traditional holiday non-perishable food items, and foods that are needed year-round. Many organizations that accept food donations also accept donations of non-food necessities, including toiletries, paper goods and cleaning supplies.

Before you donate non-food items to a specific organization, contact the group and make sure they accept and need your item.

Here's a list of non-food items that many families are in need of:

Toiletries

  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • dental floss
  • deodorant
  • feminine hygiene products, including maxi pads, tampons and feminine wipes
  • bar soap
  • liquid hand soap
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • shaving cream
  • disposable razors

Paper products

  • toilet paper
  • tissues
  • napkins
  • paper towels

Cleaning products

  • laundry detergent
  • dish soap
  • multi-purpose cleaners
  • disinfectant wipes
  • new, clean rags

Baby items

  • diapers
  • wipes
  • diaper rash cream

To find a food bank near you that accepts donations, or to find a food bank if you are in need, visit Feeding America.