Tuesday, April 23

Northminster Food Barrels

Time: 12:00 am – 12:00 am

Northminster Presbyterian Church

Please consider making a contribution to the Northminster Food Barrels when coming to church on Sunday or any other convenient time.  The barrels have been redecorated with Presbyterian blue paint and white lettering.  One barrel is located in the hallway across from the church office.  The other barrel is up at the top of the ramp before entering the Narthex.

Donated food is taken to Westminster Neighborhood Services, Inc. (2325 East New York Street), which provides basic human necessities and educational opportunities to support and empower at-risk children and families on the near east side of Indianapolis.  The food is taken by the Deacons of Northminster every 6 to 8 weeks, or when full, to be included in the Westminster Food Pantry.

When you give to your local food bank, make sure you are stocking their shelves with what they really need and avoid what they don’t.  The following are 20 items that Food Banks need the most.  They are the items food pantries can really put to good use:

1. Applesauce – plastic jars of unsweetened applesauce provide quick snack, fiber, and vitamin C.

2. Canned Beans – loaded with protein and fiber.  Opt for the low sodium varieties whenever possible.

3. Canned Chicken – it is simple to toss this non-perishable into soups and casseroles or add to a sandwich or cracker.

4. Canned Fish (Tuna and Salmon) – has vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and protein and makes for a quick and easy meal.

5.  Canned Meat (SPAM and Ham) – it is shelf stable and doesn’t require much prep or equipment to eat.

6.  Canned Vegetables – these last the longest on the food bank shelves.  Again, look for low sodium options.

7. Cooking Oils (Olive and Canola) – these oils are the best choices because of their monounsaturated fats and mild flavor.

8.  Crackers – whole grain crackers are the best; they are shelf-stable and portable, making them ideal for snacks and lunches.

9.  Dried Herbs and Spices – stick to the basics, like oregano, basil, cumin, pepper, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon.

10. Fruit (Canned or Dried) – choose those that are packed in water or fruit juice rather than sugary syrups.

11.  Granola Bars – look for ones with less sugar made with oats or other whole grains.

12.  Instant Mashed Potatoes – last longer and require minimal tools to whip up. They are a favorite of every age, making them a popular item.

13.  Meals in a box – look for pasta, rice and soup kits, especially those that are lower in sodium and higher in fiber and protein.

14.  Nuts – food banks have a hard time finding them due to their higher price, so donations are essential.

15.  Pasta – this is a food bank staple since it is easy to turn into a meal.  Whole grain varieties offer more fiber and nutrition than white pasta.

16. Peanut Butter – it is high in protein and one of the most popular items in a food bank.

17. Rice – it is filling, versatile and easy to prepare and store.  Quinoa is also a great item to donate.

18.  Shelf-stable and Powered Milk – needs no fridge and it provides much needed calcium and protein.

19. Soup, Stew and Chili – these canned or packaged items are filling for lunch or dinner and often come complete with protein (meat) and veggies.

20. Whole Grain Cereal – these make a healthy breakfast or snack.  Select varieties that are low in sugar and high in fiber.

When purchasing food for a food bank, try to avoid: junk food, items with glass or cellophane packaging, and things that need can openers or special equipment.