Knowing where to find local food banks is valuable information. According to U.S. News & World Report, over 47 million Americans were living below the poverty line as of 2015. That’s 14.8% of the American population. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy a comfortable standard of living, you may be looking for ways to support your community and help those in need. To help you find the best ways to give back, we’ve provided this article, which highlights many of the largest national and regional food banks in the United States.

Included In This Article

  • Nationwide food banks

  • Food banks in the Eastern U.S.

  • Food banks in the Midwest

  • Food banks in the South

  • Food Banks in the Western U.S.

  • And More…

Local Food Banks | National

Feeding America

Feeding America is one of the biggest nationwide directories of food banks. Visit the Feeding America website to see their hundreds of partner food banks and find the one nearest you.

Ample Harvest

Local Food Banks By Region | Eastern United States

Capital Area Food Bank (DC area and Lorton, VA)

City Harvest (NYC)

The Greater Boston Food Bank

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Local Food Banks By Region | Midwest

Food Bank of Iowa

  • Accepted donations: Most needed items include canned soup; canned vegetables; breakfast items (including cereal); 100% fruit juice; peanut butter; canned meat or tuna; dry pasta; and personal items. All packaged items must be unopened and in the original packaging. All fresh produce must be unspoiled and undamaged. Read more on the website.
  • Are cash donations accepted? Yes.
  • Find out about the Food Bank of Iowa’s drop-off location. You can also consider donating to one of the Food Bank of Iowa’s partner agencies.
  • Read more about Food Bank of Iowa’s charitable mission

Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

Northern Illinois Food Bank

The Northern Illinois Food Bank provides nutritious meals to those in need in Boone, DuPage, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will, & Winnebago counties

Second Helpings (Greater Indianapolis)

Local Food Banks By Region | South

Second Harvest Food Bank (Louisiana)

  • Accepted donations: Second Harvest accepts all nonperishable food items (ones that do not need to be refrigerated or frozen) in non-glass containers. Most needed items include oatmeal; cereal; grits; healthy snacks; evaporated and dry milk; pasta; rice; fruit cups; dried fruits; diced tomatoes and tomato sauce; dried beans, lentils, or peas; and canned meat (tuna and chicken).
  • Are cash donations accepted? Yes; Second Harvest provides numerous ways for donors to make monetary donations.
  • Find the nearest Second Harvest Louisiana location
  • Read more about Second Harvest’s charitable mission

Community Food Bank of Central Alabama

Mississippi Food Network

Local Food Banks | Western United States

Central Texas Food Bank

SF Marin Food Bank (San Francisco)

  • Accepted donations: Most needed options include canned meat and tuna; canned fruit and vegetables; peanut butter; chili; soups; beans; cereal; and whole grain pasta and rice. No perishable items will be accepted. Read the full list on the website.
  • Are cash donations accepted? Yes; Oregon Food Bank strongly encourages monetary donations in any amount (minimum $2).
  • Find the nearest SF-Marin Food Bank drop-off location.
  • Read more about SF-Marin’s charitable mission.

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

Waste Not Arizona

  • Accepted donations: Waste Not Arizona accepts surplus food from caterers, restaurants, hotels, and other organizations, but not from individuals. However, Waste Not can match an individual donor with a recipient agency in the local area that needs the donation. Read more on the FAQs page.
  • Are cash donations accepted? Yes.
  • Contact Waste Not Arizona.
  • Read more about Waste Not Arizona’s charitable mission

Oregon Food Bank

Is It Okay to Donate Expired Food?

One question that frequently arises regarding food donations is whether food items can be donated past their expiration date. Generally speaking, the answer to this is no. While some organizations will accept donations from companies, grocery stores, restaurants, or other food industry partners that are past the required sell-by date but still safe for consumption, items collected from individuals generally need to be within the expiration date. As a rule of thumb — if you wouldn’t eat it (or let your children eat it), don’t donate it. If you have any specific questions, you can contact a representative from your preferred food bank to clarify their specific policies.

Where to Donate Food Items: Final Thoughts

You now know where to donate food. Food bank locations are prevalent. In fact, there are hundreds of food banks and food pantries across the United States that will gladly accept your donations. You can use any of the national or regional resources listed above to help you find somewhere to donate. If you don’t see your local region on our list, try running a quick Google search for “where to donate food in [your town].” You can almost certainly find a local food pantry doing good work in your community. Don’t forget that besides food items and money, you can also donate your time to help organize a food drive or volunteer at a food pantry. However you choose to do it, we hope this article helps you find a way to give back to your community.