What is more helpful, cans or money?

JAMES WAMPLER/ Staff Writer

Donating To The Canned Food Drive Might Not Be As Helpful As You Think/Donating Money Might Just Be Better Than Cans

We all know about the canned food drive. But is it really as helpful as it is made out to be? Canned food drives can be helpful, but donating money directly to a food bank can be even better.

For one, food banks can buy food at wholesale prices, which is immensely cheaper than buying at the store because they buy food directly from farmers.

Cutting out the middleman and getting the food directly from the source is cheaper, and $10 to a food bank is more helpful than $10 worth of canned goods.

Also, money can be used by a food bank to get whatever type of food they need. With canned food donations, however, quite a bit of them are unsuitable for the food bank and close to 50 percent of the food can end up getting thrown out according to Community Action Services & Food Bank of Provo, Utah.

Another reason money is more suitable for donation is that with canned food the food bank has to either hire employees or find volunteers to sort through the cans and decide what goes where. However, this is unnecessary when money is donated, as they simply buy whatever is needed instead of having to sort through a mountain of cans.

Unlike cans, money does not need to be transported from wherever it is donated to the food bank. This is because they can just put it in the bank and withdraw it wherever they need. This saves money because they do not need to pay for transportation. On the other hand, cans need to be shipped wherever they need to go.

A lot of food banks also accept cash donations online, meaning anyone can donate at any time from anywhere, instead of having to go to a canned food drive at a predetermined time and a predetermined place.

Lastly, canned foods are often much higher in sodium and lower in nutrients than food straight off the farm. Also, canned foods often contain BPA and other harmful chemicals, which fresh food does not. This means that canned foods are very often much less healthy and nutritious than the fresh food food banks can use money to buy.

But all this brings up a big question. Why even have food drives when just asking for money is so much better? Kellen McGrath from ASB said that ASB does canned food drives because it’s a physical thing, bringing the community together. This is in contrast to simply donating money over the web.

It is much more helpful to donate money to a food bank than cans. This is because food banks can get more convenient, healthier, fresher, more nutritious and safer food at a fraction of the price of canned goods. Almost half of all canned food is tossed in the garbage by food banks because it is not useful.

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