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deinanthe

Donating gluten-free Foods To A Food Cupboard

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I am hoping to get your recommendations on this. There is a local food cupboard that my family has donated food to, and volunteered at, that we like to support. I just found out that they have dedicated an entire shelf to gluten free products! They said they have actually had a number of people with celiac and other gluten-free needs come in. Needless to say, we'll continue to support the entire cupboard, but definitely want to help them stock up on the new gluten-free shelf! So, here's my question. I'm actually a very sensitive celiac, and avoid most processed / pre-packaged gluten-free foods, so I'm not completely familiar with the gluten-free options and good brands out there right now. What would be your recommendations that I could buy and donate? What do kids on gluten-free diets like (I don't have kids, so I'm clueless!).

We're talking staples here, nothing too frou-frou (or crazy expensive, our budget has a limit), and can't require a fridge or freezer. So maybe cereal? Snacks? Pasta? Mac & cheese? If I buy them something like Rice Chex, they'll probably put it with the regular cereal, and I'd like to get them stuff that would stay specifically on the gluten-free shelf. Are Panda Puffs good? I'm thinking the Tinkyada pastas would be good, and Annie's has a gluten-free mac and cheese, doesn't it? Maybe I just need to go shopping and look :P But could definitely use advice on things that kids like!

Thanks for your help!

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The one I take food for says the Crunchmasters crackers are very popular. They are on sale, big boxes, at Costco right now. - regular $7.50. Now $5. At Walmart I think they were about $7. You get 2 packages in the box, so some shelters will split them. I gave Chex & they put it with th gluten-free stuff. I also got jars of pasta sauce to go with the pasta. I got some fruit snacks like Welch's that say gluten-free. I got some Progresso soups that say gluten-free on them. I put the stuff in boxes labelled gluten free.

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Wonderful ideas, thank you! Yes, things like crackers with individually wrapped components would be perfect, as they will split the packages between multiple families when they can. I know every package of Ritz or Saltines that someone donates winds up feeding three or four families, so yeah it would be great to give them a gluten-free alternative to those!

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I love that food banks are now having food for celiac people... Have you checked Amazon for bargains. Last week I got Glutino crackers for almost nothing a box...They havesuch good bargainsthat this is how I buy to support our local food bank...

Rice Krispies, chex all say gluten free on front of box so if the people working at the FB understand or see this !!!!

I also give bread mixes , cake mixes,muffins, pizza crust.. Right now Bob's Red Mill is available at our Big Lots for half the reg. price... And if you contact some of these places they will send you coupons which will help you out...

others have mentioned more odeas & good things...

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Hormel hash, Spam and Dinty Moore Beef Stew are gluten free but I would label it for the Food Bank because you only read gluten-free when you read the small print.

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What do kids on gluten-free diets like (I don't have kids, so I'm clueless!).

Staples:

Gorilla Munch cereal and Amazon Frosted Flakes cereal both by EnviroKidz

Tinkyada pasta and original Ragu

Mission corn products: soft tortillas, taco shells, tostadas. My kids will put anything on a tostada - hamburger patty, cheese and pepperoni, etc.

Pancake mixes like Bob Red Mills or Pamelas

Annie's pasta and cheddar (would feed small family as a side dish)

For the non-staples, but easy snacks for kids:

K Kritters (KinniKritters) animal cookies (animal crackers, really)

Smoreables

K Toos (or KinniToos) oreo look-alikes

Snyder's pretzels

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I thought I should just mention, for those wishing to donate gluten-free food - make sure they know what it is & will keep it separate. I emailed a BIG pantry here & they couldn't be bothered. I found another that is smaller & works with the families to help with multiple issues.

You can always donate Chex cereals to any food pantry & not feel like you wasted money if non gluten-free eat it. & if someone gluten-free is there, they will appreciate it.

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I thought I should just mention, for those wishing to donate gluten-free food - make sure they know what it is & will keep it separate. I emailed a BIG pantry here & they couldn't be bothered. I found another that is smaller & works with the families to help with multiple issues.

You can always donate Chex cereals to any food pantry & not feel like you wasted money if non gluten-free eat it. & if someone gluten-free is there, they will appreciate it.

I was just going to post a question about this. For a volunteer project, I wanted to get our local food bank to have a gluten-free shelf and then I would solicit donations. I called the local food bank and asked them and they never got back to me. I feel it's a good way to give back to my community and share some good things. I'll have to try again.

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Thanks for all the good advice! I hadn't even thought about Amazon for bulk orders, I will definitely have to look into that (love their free shipping offers!). And great advice to go for items clearly labelled Gluten Free on the front of the package. That's a good thing to try to stick with especially in the beginning perhaps, as I don't think anyone there is particularly an expert on the subject, though their hearts are certainly in the right place and bless 'em for doing this. Awesome list for kids' food, thank you so much! I won't be able to get everything all at once, but we try to donate monthly, so I'll send some variety and then ask how it went and what was popular.

Yes, I agree food cupboards vary widely in what they can or will do. This one is wonderful in that instead of handing out pre-packed bags of food, the clients are actually allowed to 'shop' from the choices available with a volunteer guiding them, you can have one of these and two of that kind of thing. I always thought it was a blessing for people with special needs diets to be given choices, and I'm so delighted that they're taking this extra step for the gluten-free crowd.

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Thanks for all the good advice! I hadn't even thought about Amazon for bulk orders, I will definitely have to look into that (love their free shipping offers!). And great advice to go for items clearly labelled Gluten Free on the front of the package. That's a good thing to try to stick with especially in the beginning perhaps, as I don't think anyone there is particularly an expert on the subject, though their hearts are certainly in the right place and bless 'em for doing this. Awesome list for kids' food, thank you so much! I won't be able to get everything all at once, but we try to donate monthly, so I'll send some variety and then ask how it went and what was popular.

Yes, I agree food cupboards vary widely in what they can or will do. This one is wonderful in that instead of handing out pre-packed bags of food, the clients are actually allowed to 'shop' from the choices available with a volunteer guiding them, you can have one of these and two of that kind of thing. I always thought it was a blessing for people with special needs diets to be given choices, and I'm so delighted that they're taking this extra step for the gluten-free crowd.

I like to get the mainstream stuff that's gluten-free, too. I would put them in boxes or paper grocery bags with full sized white sheets of paper that say gluten free. You might want to even label each box, jar, carton, with a piece of white paper. This helps with the mainstream items. I also think we are teaching the food pantry what main stream things are gluten-free. The point is to have stuff that we know is safe set aside. The pantry doesn't have to figure it out. The people may not realize something is good.

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