Sorry, That’s a Luxury: 5 Small Donations that Can Make a Big Difference

Sorry, That’s a Luxury: 5 Small Donations that Can Make a Big Difference

By Karla Heuer

For more than 45 years, Lakeview Pantry has provided emergency food assistance to our neighbors in need. And while we’re proud to distribute a wide variety of shelf stable goods, fruit, vegetables, bread and other staples, some items are more frequently donated than others.

Interested in making a donation that goes beyond the necessities? Here are five small items Lakeview Pantry doesn’t often receive that our clients would definitely put to good use.

Hygiene Products: Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, and they deserve to be able to. When a client asks if we have toothpaste and soap, it’s hard to have to say, “No,” but these are luxury items, which we rarely have to offer – and they can be hard for clients of Lakeview Pantry to come by. Even those who are eligible for SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) are in need of these items as SNAP benefits only cover food. Donations of new and unused shampoo, lotions, creams, Kleenex, deodorant, diapers and other hygiene products are welcome!

Can Openers: Though Lakeview Pantry offers a wide assortment of fresh foods, we also give out a large quantity of canned goods. Our clients who live in temporary housing (like single room occupancy hotels or other transitional homes) often can’t take these items, though, simply because they have no way to open them. For this reason, new, unused can openers are always on our list.

Cooking Essentials:  In addition to essential groceries and meal ingredients, we’d also love to distribute the extras that could help our clients make their meals into something special. Spices, oils, sugar and flour would be a treat on distribution days.

Coffee: Most people love starting their morning with a steaming cup of Joe, but we often don’t have coffee on hand because it can be so expensive. Donations of ground or instant coffee are always welcome!

Cash: Finally, people love giving us food donations because they know the food will go directly to our clients. But a financial donation also goes helps our clients – and it can go farther than a food donation can!

For every $1 given to the Pantry, we can buy 10 pounds of food. Plus a cash donation also goes to fund our programming like cooking and nutrition classes, home delivery and social services!

Of course, the list doesn’t end there. Other needs include:

  • More juice – there is never enough; so our standard offer is one juice item per family.
  • Canned goods with pop tops.
  • Condiments – mustard, ketchup, pickles and olives
  • Reusable bags
  • Feminine products
  • Cleaning supplies
  • CTA cards
  • In-kind donations such as printing and copying services, t-shirts, storage space

If you’re interested in learning about even more creative ways you can help us help our neighbors, check out our Ways to Give page.