MSN Money ran a great article on needed items at the food shelf. Here is a selection:
1)Proteins. Canned meats such as tuna, chicken or fish are high in protein and low in saturated fat. Peanut butter is rich in protein and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, the "good fats." These are among the most expensive foods -- too expensive for food banks to buy large quantities.
2) Soups and stews. They are filling, particularly the "chunky" soups, and contain liquid for hydration. In addition, soups can be filled with protein and vegetables.
3) Rice and pasta. "They're really staples," Nowak says. In addition, grain-based foods, such as pasta, are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates.
4) Cereal, including oatmeal. Breakfast cereals can be an additional source of protein, and most cereals today include a variety of vitamins and minerals.
5) Canned vegetables, including tomatoes and tomato sauce. Studies indicate that canned vegetables have about the same nutritional value as fresh vegetables.
6) Canned or dried beans and peas. A staple of diets as early as 6700 B.C., beans are a low-fat source of protein and fiber.
7) Canned fruits. Only a small amount of vitamin C is lost in the canning process, making these a healthy choice.
8) Fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed). Make sure it's 100% juice.
9) Prepared box mixes such as macaroni and cheese or Hamburger Helper.
10) Shelf-stable milk. This includes dehydrated milk, canned evaporated milk and instant breakfasts.
Of course, these are just a few of the many options to donate to the food shelves. So check out a few of the loss-leaders at your local grocery store, and donate away!