I just finished reading the book American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Half of Its Food (and what you can do about it). The author, Jonathan Bloom, investigates the inexcusable fact that American farmers, supermarkets, and individuals waste literally tons of food every day in this country while millions of citizens go hungry. While I encourage you to read the book to find out what solutions the author proposes, what you can do right now to help feed hungry Americans right in your own community is donate food that you can buy quite inexpensively using coupons and taking advantage of store specials.
If you do not already have a place to which you donate, simply bring your items to the library and place them in the Westlake Assistance collection bin across from the Book Nook. All donations help more than 300 Westlake residents each year. Following is a list of suggested items by month, although any non-perishable foods and hygiene and paper products are accepted year round.
January: Soup, crackers, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, tissues
February: Bakery mixes, canned fruit, pasta, spaghetti sauce, bar soap
March: Easter bagged candy, sugar, canned tuna/meats, canned pasta, trash bags, rice, toilet paper
April: Macaroni and cheese, pudding, canned vegetables, deodorant, shampoo
May: Pasta, spaghetti sauce, sloppy joe/pizza sauce, toothpaste, condiments
June: Peanut butter, jelly, cereal, paper towels, pork and beans
July: Canned vegetables, canned tuna/meats, canned fruit, shampoo, toilet paper
August: Bakery mixes, pasta, pork and beans, spaghetti sauce, rice, laundry detergent
September: Pancake mix, syrup, cereal, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, paper towels
October: Soup, crackers, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, evaporated milk, tissues
November: Cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, pie fillings, marshmallows
December: Holiday candy, Jello, boxed cookies, canned tuna/meats, breakfast bars