The following foods are outstanding staples to donate or focus on stocking at a food pantry.


  • Whole grain bread (whole wheat flour is the first ingredient)
  • Whole grain cereal (has 3 or more grams of fiber)
  • Rolled oatmeal and hot cereal
  • Low-sugar granola bars
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Whole wheat crackers and pretzels

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Low- or no-sodium canned vegetables and beans
  • Canned fruit in water or natural juices
  • Fruit cups in water or natural juices
  • Unsweetened apple sauce
  • Low-sodium vegetable juice
  • Dried fruit (unsweetened or reduced sugar)

Meats and Proteins

  • Low-sodium canned chicken, tuna and other seafood in water
  • Low-sodium beef stew, chili or bean soup
  • Peanut butter
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Dairy (low-fat)
  • Powdered milk
  • Shelf stable cow’s milk or soy milk


  • Bottled water
  • Tea (unsweetened and reduced sugar)
  • 100% Fruit juice


  • Low-sodium, shelf stable pasta sauces
  • Low-sodium chicken and beef broth
  • Healthy oils (i.e. olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil) No glass bottles accepted.