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Keep the cranberry sauce: Here’s what the food bank really needs this Christmas

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

The holidays are always one of the busiest times of the year for the Central Texas Food Bank, which means it’s a good time to remind good-hearted Central Texas about which kinds of donations are the most helpful for people who are struggling to buy enough food.

Central Texas Food Bank Dietitian Mary Agnew, who writes our monthly Ask a Dietitian column, shared some tips in her article this month:

At the food bank, we are receiving your donations by the truck full this time of year, so it’s a good time to share what items are most helpful for our clients. Canned cranberry sauce doesn’t have the same nutritional impact on a family as a can of tuna or chicken breast, a can of low-sodium vegetable soup, a jar of peanut butter or a bag of brown rice or pinto beans, which are all items requested most from our clients.

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Peanut butter, rice, beans, canned protein and soup. Those are the items that not only pack a nutritional punch but are also more appealing than cans of pumpkin puree or evaporated milk leftover from Thanksgiving.

There are donation drop-off locations in many grocery stores, but you can also drop them off at the Central Texas Food Bank between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For non perishable food donations, an after-hours drop box is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just outside the front entrance. They are also always looking for volunteers and sustained donations throughout the year. You can find out more by going to centraltexasfoodbank.org.