Give peas a chance! Help us beet hunger year round

With New Years’ resolution season looming, you might be thinking of ways to be healthier in 2017. This year, we’d like to ask you to take it one step further: make a resolution to help others be healthier too. Public Health is partnering with the emergency food system to bring healthier foods to food banks, and we need your help!

Every holiday season, food banks receive thousands of pounds in donated foods, but many donations are high in salt, sugar, and fat, ingredients notorious for their links to diet-related diseases like hypertension and diabetes. What’s more, donations slow down after the holidays. You can help by continuing to donate healthy food throughout the year.

Not sure where to begin? Our Healthy Eating & Active Living unit wrote a poem to help out.

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What should I donate?

It’s a good idea to check with your local food bank to see what their specific needs are, but in the meantime, here is a general list to get you started:


  • Canned vegetables (low sodium)
  • Canned tomato products (low sodium)
  • Canned white or sweet potatoes (in water)
  • Potato flakes (no additives)
  • Canned soups (low sodium)
  • Salsa


  • Canned fruit (in water or juice)
  • Applesauce (no sugar added)
  • Dried fruits, raisins
  • 100% fruit leather
  • Low sugar fruit spreads


  • Rice, brown or white
  • Whole grain pastas or noodles
  • Whole grain or bran cereals (low sugar)
  • Oats or oatmeal (plain)
  • Bulgur or polenta
  • Whole grain crackers (reduced fat)
  • Granola bars
  • Graham or animal crackers
  • Pretzels


  • Powdered milk
  • Shelf stable milk or soy milk (in a box)


  • Chicken or turkey (canned)
  • Canned tuna or salmon in water
  • Canned beans (low sodium)
  • Dried peas, beans or lentils
  • Canned stews
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Peanut butter 


  •  Olive or canola oils
  • Cooking Spray