On food pantry’s wish list: 12 things needed, but reluctantly requested

The food pantry has a drop-off tub on the east side at the bottom of the ramp at Homer United Methodist Church. It’s available seven days a week — just be aware of the weather at this time of year because some of the items that may freeze.

Otherwise, we arrive at 9 a.m. Mondays to set up and we’ll gladly receive any donations. We also can provide a tax receipt. We do ask that if you drop off items on a Monday, that you bring them in before noon so we can set them out for our clients who come through between 1 and 3 p.m.

1. Spices: Think about it. People who rely on the food pantry eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices — things like seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on are greatly appreciated.

2. Feminine Products: Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons and panty liners can all be put to good use. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.

3. Chocolate: People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials.

4. Toiletries: Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo and similar items. Food stamps often don’t cover these essential, but non-food items.

5. Canned meats and jerky: We struggle to give users enough protein. Remember us next year when you are clearing out your freezers getting ready for the new harvest of fish, moose, bear and other game. Good protein also includes beans — canned or dried.

6. Crackers and tortillas: They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.

7. Baby toiletries: Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles all can be put to good use.

8. Soup packets: Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and think, “What do I make with this?” Hearty soup is a complete meal.

9. Socks: Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.

10. Canned fruit other than pineapple: The food pantry gets a lot of pineapple donated. Our clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available, including mixed fruit/fruit cocktail, pears, peaches, mandarin oranges and other fruit.

11. Canned vegetables other than green beans: The food pantry gets a ton of canned green beans donated. If you are thinking of picking up canned veggies please consider corn, mixed vegetables, carrots, potatoes, and other items.

12. Fresh onions and carrots: Fresh onions and carrots are a staple that we give out each week — as long as we have them. They are a wonderful addition to any soup or dish.

Thank you for your support.

Donna Wells is on the Homer Community Food Pantry board of directors.