How to Hold a Healthy, Helpful Food Drive for IFFS

If you’re considering holding a food drive for Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, first we’d like to say thank you! Hunger is a community issue that requires a community solution, and we couldn’t do this important work of “feeding, teaching, and growing” without your support. We’d like to point out that IFFS is a little different from traditional food banks in that we place a strong emphasis on healthy food, not just any food AND we use food as a means of teaching self-sufficiency, helping our clients grow beyond needing emergency food assistance.

Traditional canned or packaged goods

We are proud to say that 40% of the food we supply to clients is fresh produce. For the other 60%, we focus on nutrient dense shelf-stable items rather than super processed foods high in fats and sodium. Here are some of our top recommended items:

  • canned-proteins-2-editMeats – Canned Chicken, Canned Tuna, Healthy Soups (not spam, vienna sausage, or potted meat)
  • Veggies – Green Beans, Carrots, Mixed Veggies with No Salt Added
  • Fruit – Peaches, pears and Fruit Cocktail all in their own 100% Juice (not syrup!)
  • Noodles – Ramen and Mac & Cheese
  • Breakfast – Instant Oatmeal, Instant Grits (prefer individual sized packets that don’t have crazy flavors)
  • Snacks – Raisins, Granola Bars, Dried Fruits, Pretzels (not chips or sugary snacks like cookies or rice krispies treats)

We love individual-sized, easy to open containers of food. They are great for the children in our BackPack Buddies program! But please avoid soft tops that are easily punctured during transportation by active children. Family size items are OK, but please avoid bulk or restaurant size. Really large containers are too big for seniors and families to use or pick up easily.

Food for teaching

Both our Nutrition Education programs and our Culinary Job Training Program use food to teach participants how to chop, cook, and prepare delicious, nutritious meals. The items they use in class, unfortunately, don’t grow on trees. We frequently use financial donations from generous supporters to purchase these items, but would gladly accept these items as direct donations as well:

  • file000565401507Whole Wheat Tortillas, Whole Wheat English Muffins, Whole Wheat Pasta, & Brown Rice
  • Cheese (shredded cheddar and mozzarella, low-fat)
  • Yogurt (plain, non-fat, or low-fat)
  • Canned Beans or Dried Beans
  • Canned Tomatoes (diced, whole, or sauce) with No Salt Added
  • Olive Oil & Soy Sauce (low-sodium)
  • Spices including cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ground black pepper, ginger, cumin, garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • Corn flakes (not frosted!)
  • Cooking spray
  • Brown sugar

Thank you again for helping us feed our neighbors in need! Once you have collected your food, you can drop it off at our Warehouse (1001 Blair Drive, Raleigh NC 27603) Mondays-Fridays 9am-3:30pm or Saturdays 9am-1:30pm. If you have collected over 200 lbs, you can call 919-250-0043 to schedule a pickup with one of our IFFS trucks, but if you are able to transport the food on your own it helps us out tremendously, including saving fuel costs.


By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: