During the holiday season, we think more and more about helping those in need. Our focus goes beyond giving material gifts to the idea of ensuring that those dealing with food insecurity can enjoy a nourishing, and if possible, festive meal. It’s one of the things we value here at Ocean State Job Lot, and with our Three Square Meals program, we try to fight against food insecurity as part of our Mission, Vision, and Values.
When considering food donations, it’s essential to prioritize non-perishable items that contribute to a well-rounded dining experience for those in need. How we go about it can come in various forms. Some of the first things that come to mind are canned vegetables, fruits, and proteins, like tuna or canned chicken, that offer versatility and nutritional value. Grains like rice, pasta, and cereal provide essential carbohydrates, while canned soups and stews can offer a comforting warmth during the winter months. Donating basic condiments and sauces can enhance the flavor of meals and add a tasty touch to otherwise simple dishes.
Additionally, consider contributing holiday-themed treats like cookies, chocolates, and other sweets to add a touch of joy to recipients’ celebrations. Don’t forget about dietary restrictions; provide gluten-free, low-sodium, or sugar-free options to address specific nutritional needs.
But as we think about helping those in need of our help, maybe we should be flipping the script and start asking questions of food banks and those in need themselves as to what they truly need. Maybe by starting with that premise, we can bring donations to another level.