If you’re cooking for Thanksgiving, you’ll probably check your pantry to see what you need to buy (besides the turkey). It’s also a good time to clear out your pantry of those unexpired cans or jars of food you know you’ll never eat.
Putting aside oddball foods like kumquats, your local food bank will be glad to accept your donation.
My moment of truth came when I found too many jars of spaghetti sauce on my shelves. With my extra-strength acid reflux, there’s no way I can eat lots of spiced tomato sauce. So those jars went to the Food Bank of Delaware.
Perhaps last year, you went on a “Downton Abbey” binge and bought jars of jam so you could breakfast like the Duchess. Then you discovered how you didn’t care for jam, Duchess or no Duchess. If the product’s sell-by date hasn’t expired, give those jars to your food bank.
Incidentally, you can still satisfy your inner Duchess by wearing four sized-strands of costume pearls while eating your quinoa granola for breakfast.
Another option is to buy a few extra nonperishable items during your Thanksgiving food shopping. Check your food bank’s website for what’s acceptable and what’s not.
Finally, consider donating toothpaste, bar soap, and feminine hygiene products. (Note: toothpaste has an expiration date.) People in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (once known as “food stamps”) cannot use SNAP funds to buy these necessities. Food banks generally accept these products.
Give it a try. Clear out your kitchen pantry, be honest with yourself, and donate what you’re not going to eat to a food bank.
If you’re cooking for the holiday, consider popping a few extra cans or jars of food into your shopping cart. And consider helping your less fortunate neighbors in ways that go beyond food, but still involve your local food bank.
There are many ways to give thanks; helping the needy is one of the best.
Joanne Butler is a graduate of the Kennedy School at Harvard, was a professional staff member (Republican) at the House Ways and Means Committee, and served in President George W. Bush’s administration.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.