Guide to ethical and caring giving this holiday season – le Quotidien du Cavalier

As the holiday season draws near, the number of food banks, food drives and donation-based fundraisers increases, making it a great time to think about ways to give back to your community. Elementary and secondary schools hold food drives every year that encourage students to donate in any way they can, regardless of the item.

However, it is important to keep in mind which items may be the most useful to donate versus those which may not be as useful. To guide you in the right direction, here are some helpful reminders – as echoed by the feedback given to longtime volunteers at homeless shelters in Leesburg, Va. – as we make it holiday season for those who receive the. articles.

Items to Avoid

  1. Kraft Mac and Cheese

Mac’n’cheese is one of those foods that people find quick and easy to make, but it takes milk and butter, both of which are hard to find at regular food banks.

  1. Hamburger help

Hamburger Helper cannot be used without ground beef, and the meat is rarely donated to food banks. If you are considering donating an item like Hamburger Helper, be sure to include the other ingredients needed to make it into a meal.

Items to give away

  1. Canned milk

Milk is an essential part of people’s diets and is especially valuable for young children as it contributes to children’s growth and bone health. It is full of calcium and protein and is a good source of nutrition. Milk also goes well with cereals, a widely donated item.

  1. Canola and olive oil

Oil is a luxury because of its price and functionality. It can be used in conjunction with many other donations, including Rice-a-Roni, which is another meal that food banks often receive. It is also crucial for cooking and provides important nutrients, like vitamin E, and healthy fats.

  1. Spices

Spices, including salt and pepper, can be hard to come by, but can completely turn a meal from a bland dinner into something tasty. Seasoned foods taste much better than unseasoned foods, and salt and pepper are simple additions to any dish. So consider adding seasonings and spices when deciding what to give this year.

  1. Sugar

Sugar is considered a staple because it can be used to make treats – like a child’s birthday cake – and sweeten someone’s day. Typically, sugar is also a baking staple and can be used to make foods tastier and more enjoyable.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are considered a commodity and are a great gift because they are so versatile. They can be enjoyed on their own or used to prepare a more elaborate but still simple dish. For example, eggs can be a nutritious and easy addition to protein in a simple bowl of rice and vegetables.

  1. Dish and laundry detergent

Dishwasher and laundry detergent are both necessary to keep our clothes and dishes clean, but they can be expensive and often people have to choose food over clean clothes or dishes. Having access to items like clean clothes and dishes can make a huge difference in someone’s life, so donating these most common household items is a great way to give back.

  1. Feminine hygiene products

Feminine hygiene products are a luxury item but can bring immense relief. Many families struggle to afford personal care and household items, especially since they are not covered by other food assistance programs, such as SNAP. Donating feminine hygiene products can completely change someone’s life.

Things to consider before making a donation

  1. Canned vegetables and soup

While these items are both delicious and nutritious, they cannot be enjoyed unless given with a can opener or the cans are pop lids.

  1. Expired foods

When considering which items to donate, it is generally recommended that you only donate items that you would consume on your own or serve to your family. You are unlikely to consume expired items, so be sure to check the expiration date on any items you donate.

  1. Foods with packaging problems

Foods with damaged or opened packaging often cannot be donated to food banks. Again, if you don’t pick this box or box yourself at the grocery store, you shouldn’t donate it.

  1. Home-baked goods

While baked goods taste delicious and are a pleasure to receive because of the love and care you have given to baking, food banks cannot confirm how your products were made and what ingredients were in them. mis – so they cannot be given away. However, sometimes food banks have relationships with local bakeries or restaurants who may donate additional foods that are properly labeled and handled.

The holiday season is a great time to spend with friends and family, but it’s also important to think about how you might be able to give back to your community and to those who might be less fortunate than you. The Charlottesville VA Food Pantries website provides a complete list of food banks in Charlottesville that would like to receive donations. Many of these food banks need both food donations and volunteers to help with these food banks.

Loaves & Fishes is one such food bank located at 2050 Lambs Road, next to Albemarle High School. They use volunteers to pre-pack dried and canned goods and frozen meat products, as well as to wrap grocery cars and deliver them to customers’ cars in the parking lot. They accept both food and cash donations – food donations can be made by viewing the list of needed items on their website and can be dropped off at their front door. For more information, check out their website to see what items are on their wishlist this season and how you can help.

Students may also consider making a monetary donation or donating food and hygiene to U.Va. Community pantry. Located in the Newcomb Hall 144 student activity center, this initiative aims to alleviate food insecurity on the grounds and has reopened to students and staff for the 2021-2022 school year.

There are many ways to give back to your community – both through physical giving and by volunteering your time – but this holiday season, think about how you can give back in the most ethical and meaningful way. possible. All forms of giving are equally important and necessary, so think about how best to serve your community.


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