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No matter what city you live in, and no matter what newspaper you read, you have probably seen a headline that says something like “Local Food Bank Donations Down,” or “Shelves Empty at the Food Bank.”

This Thanksgiving, consider the possibility of making your dinner a food drive; you can ask your guests to bring canned goods, in lieu of house gifts. According to a recent thread on Chowhound, certain items are almost always a good bet:

  • Canned Chicken
  • Powdered Milk
  • Canned Tuna
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Soups
  • Juices
  • White Rice
  • Jarred or Canned Spaghetti Sauce
  • Grape Jelly
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Breakfast Cereals
  • Pork & Beans
  • Peanut Butter
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Pet food, for companion animals

What they’ve got too much of? Kidney beans. And, of course, money donations are always welcome as well.
To find the nearest food bank to you, check out Second Harvest’s Food Bank locator.