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Giving Back

Our Top Tips for Supporting a Food Bank Near You

By: Lodge Cast Iron / November 29, 2022

Last year, 1 in 6 Americans—or about 53 million people—turned to charitable food assistance programs like food banks and pantries. But keeping those essential food banks stocked, staffed, and running is a labor of love often done by volunteers from within the community. Here are a few ways you can be part of ending hunger where you live—and bring a bit of joy to the table, too.

Cookies for Food Bank

Giving Tuesday is an important moment to give back, and for a team of Lodge employees, it felt like the perfect opportunity to bring our love of baking together with a need in our community. The team collected pantry essentials, personal care items, and shared baked goodies with our local food bank, Marion County Community Ministries. Sherry Barnett, President of MCCM, works tirelessly with a team of dedicated folks to bring pantry boxes to those who need them in our home county. Below, she shares a few tips for getting involved with the community kitchen or pantry where you live.

Cookie Baking Team
Ask local food pantries what they need (it may surprise you).

Sherry says there are two items the food bank always needs but that often go overlooked: kid-friendly foods and personal care items like toilet paper, soap, and diapers. Check with your neighborhood food bank to find out what’s needed.

Consider giving at the holidays but also any-old-day. 

Many food assistance programs see a surge of generosity around the holidays followed by a decline in donations in the new year. In addition to supporting food programs during the season of giving, consider volunteering time or donating food at other times of year.

Buy one, give one makes a great habit. 

If you’re able to give and want to make it a habit, choose a monthly shopping trip to BOGO your pantry essentials. If you’re shopping for canned foods, peanut butter, or dry pastas and rice, buy one for your family and one for a neighbor. Then, donate at your local food bank.

Remember: your time is worth more than you know!

If spending extra money on pantry essentials isn’t possible, you can still support a food bank with the generous gift of your time. Volunteer a few hours a week or month—you can even make it a family activity.

Cookie Baking
Team up to host a food drive.

Lead a food drive at work, school, or in the neighborhood. And remember: it’s a team effort! You can reach out to your local food bank to get organized, or find national resources like Feeding America.

Give cast iron-made baked goods.

Some (but not all!) community kitchens accept homemade baked goods. Check in advance, and then consider one of our favorite giftable recipes

Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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