It's that time of the year when canned food drives are everywhere and, before you help the cause read this "do" and "don't".

The University of Illinois shared a note about canned/non-perishable food drives and being apart of so many, two key things stood out. So much it merits a reminder for those looking to help out our neighbors that might need it.


Don't use a food drive as an opportunity to empty the expired or leftover foods you don't want. Don't save the things you won't eat for the next local canned drive. U of I reminds us all to "only donate the food you would serve your family."


Do think about how YOU would want to eat - healthy. U of I suggested thinking about foods high in nutrients and fewer sugars. Remember those that have dietary needs.

If you're unsure about what should be donated, here's a tip from SNAP Ed educator Carol Erickson (via;

FRUIT: unsweetened applesauce, canned fruit in water/light syrup/100% juice, dried fruit, fruit pouches, and 100% fruit juice.

VEGETABLES: 100 percent vegetable juice, low-sodium canned soups, no-added/low/reduced sodium canned vegetables and spaghetti sauce, dried or dehydrated vegetables.

GRAINS: cereal and oatmeal with three grams of fiber, whole grain bread, pasta, and tortillas, barley, cornmeal, brown and instant rice, whole grain crackers, whole grain flour, corn tortillas.

PROTEIN low-sodium canned beans, dried beans/peas/lentils, unsalted or lightly nuts, canned tuna/salmon/chicken in water, nut butters like peanut, almond, or cashew with less than 230 mg sodium and four grams of sugar/serving.

DAIRY: shelf-stable milk, soy/almond/rice milk, powdered milk, baby formula.

If you would like to donate to a food drive in Illinois, click here.


JB Love is ½ of  Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

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