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Food bank says to donate money instead of food

Photo courtesy: MGN
Photo courtesy: MGN(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 29, 2017 at 11:27 PM CST
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This time of year people want to stretch their buying dollar. But what about donation dollars, and reaching the most people who are food insecure? An Iowa City food bank director today who suggests ways to spend smarter when feeding the hungry.

"The prices that we can pay are sometimes half or less than what people pay in the grocery store," said Food Bank and Emergency Assistance Director Sarah Benson Witry.

Even if you're a bargain shopper, your dollar goes further when donating cash directly.

"When it comes to the best bang for your buck we are able to stretch dollars further on average," said Benson Witry.

"What we do as a family in my household is we'd rather donate the money and let them decide what they need to use it for."

Giving a check not only increases the buying power of your gift, it also results in a healthier selection for those who rely on food banks, pantries and soup kitchens. Even food donators agree that they see how the effect can be different.

"If we rely on donations, we don't always get the variety that clients need to have a healthy diet," said Food Bank Volunteer Marla Swesey.

But if the option is donating canned goods that are collecting dust in a pantry, or throwing them away, donate them. No matter what they contain.

"Even if you think it's something really obscure that no one is going to want; it could be anchovies, it could be olives, it could be anything, we have someone that wants that food item," said Benson Witry.

said Food Bank and Emergency Assistance Director Sarah Benson Witry.

Even if you're a bargain shopper, your dollar goes further when donating cash directly.

"When it comes to the best bang for your buck we are able to stretch dollars further on average," said Benson Witry.

"What we do as a family in my household is we'd rather donate the money and let them decide what they need to use it for."

Giving a check not only increases the buying power of your gift, it also results in a healthier selection for those who rely on food banks, pantries and soup kitchens. Even food donators agree that they see how the effect can be different.

"If we rely on donations, we don't always get the variety that clients need to have a healthy diet," said Food Bank Volunteer Marla Swesey.

But if the option is donating canned goods that are collecting dust in a pantry, or throwing them away, donate them. No matter what they contain.

"Even if you think it's something really obscure that no one is going to want; it could be anchovies, it could be olives, it could be anything, we have someone that wants that food item," said Benson Witry.

Witry says items that the food bank really does need are diapers, wipes, formula and other toiletries.

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