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Good and cheap with no fridge.

Homelessness and hunger is a huge problem in my neighborhood. I am often asked for food while walking to the grocery store and wind up buying precooked chicken or sliced bread and lunch meat to hand off on the way home.
I thought a better idea would be to have a sort of picnic in a bag that I can grab on my way out the door to give before I get to the store. What are you best ideas for good and cheap meals I can assemble once or twice a week and keep in the pantry? Bananas and Peanut butter sandwiches are one idea, but what else??? Also, convenience might trump nutrition. It should be self contained, require no silverware or condiments (a ketchup packet or S&P packet is fine) and be something a hungry man would want to eat.

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    1. This was on NBC News last evening. It might give you some ideas.

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/1...

      7 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        What an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing.

        1. re: foodieX2

          We were mighty impressed with that young man.

        2. re: c oliver

          That's God working through that boy & his family; bless them...

          1. re: c oliver

            That's a great kid helping out his fellow humans on his own free will. Props.

            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

              Totally agree, EFGM. It's great seeing kids being raised well.

            2. re: c oliver

              pfff darn kids these days, just going out and helping people and stuff in broad daylight...

              I (we?) need to be reminded of these things on a regular basis.

              1. re: hill food

                Bless you, my child.

                We're in the SFBA - are you around.

            3. What wouldn't a hungry man want to eat if he were hungry enough?

              How 'bout just keeping it simple and handing out bananas? Few things deliver the nutrition per lb that bananas do.

                1. Keep in mind that some people, no matter how hungry they are, will not eat unfamilar or foods that don't look good to them. Even homeless people eat with their eyes. That said, pretty much any type of sandwich, fresh fruit, cheese or peanut butter & crackers, granola bars, packages of nuts/dried fruits would probably be welcomed. If you go a step further and supply a plastic spoon or fork then you can consider cups of yogurt, applesauce or even those small containers of snap top pork & beans, beef stew, beef a roni/ravioli, sardines, tuna, etc. which can be eaten room temp.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Cherylptw

                    It's so true about eating with your eyes! Also, I think we all can agree canned ravioli is disgustingly delicious and a real treat in its own right!

                    1. re: heatherjwalter

                      Since so many things today have pull tab tops, that makes it easier.

                  2. You are amazing!
                    Sandwiches like pb and j, or something simple like a bagel with cream cheese, whole fresh fruit, a ziplock of mixed nuts and dried fruit, granola bars or protein bars, maybe peeled hard boiled eggs with a little salt on the side, jerky, homemade cookies, and absolutely frozen bottles of water.
                    I'm thinking items that won't spoil if not eaten for several hours would be ideal.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      Yessss! Frozen water bottles! What a fantastic idea!

                    2. granola in little baggies.

                      nuts and dried fruit or nuts and fresh fruilt.

                      individual portions of peanut butter available at smart and final.

                      nutrition bars

                      1. I often get a group together to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, protein bars and juice boxes for the homeless. Most homeless will save the sandwich for days to eat when they're not able to get food at a shelter etc. The PB&J will last without soiling so, it's the best and safest to make for them.

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: treb

                          Are there things other than PBJ that will last similarly?

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Probably, peanut butter is a very good source of protein. Personally, I would not want to give foods that might make a person ill, they have enough to deal with.

                            1. re: treb

                              I'm talking about other stable foods.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Like, protein bars, dried fruits which are excellent, nuts, things like pop tarts that are sealed, cookies etc, probably a lot of good choices that have a long shelf life.

                              2. re: treb

                                There is actually a peanut butter based paste/food being sent to countries with hunger issues now since it is such a great cheap source of nutrition.
                                http://nypost.com/2013/10/13/this-sim...

                              3. re: treb

                                "save the sandwich for days to eat when they're not able to get food at a shelter etc" - treb

                                an important observation, as your etc. covers the ones who, for whatever reason, simply will not go to a food outreach or shelter. I was very impressed by a certain church in DC that spent as much effort on driving around and distributing bag lunches at night wherever the homeless could be found as they did on their in-house hot food program.

                                1. re: hill food

                                  You make such a good point. So many homeless are emotionally disturbed. We as a society need to remember that and work within that parameter. Get advice if you haven't already.

                                  1. re: hill food

                                    Yes, there are a lot that will not enter shelters or soup kitchens and will still pick trash cans for food before eating the lunch we gave them. They always seem to want to save the food we gave them for another day. Also, most have some type of mental disorder or other illness and we need to remember that.

                                    1. re: treb

                                      if you've ever actually been in a situation where you are not confident that there will be food to eat the next day, "saving food for another day" stops looking like a form of mental disorder. . . .

                                2. Grilled cheese sandwiches are good at room temp, and hard cheeses can handle not being refrigerated for many hours.
                                  With its high salt content, bacon could be added, as well as mayo and mustard (that potato salad that sickened you at the picnic was because of the other ingredients, not the mayo).

                                  Snack-size baggies of dried fruit. Ditto jerky, cheese, and pretzel sticks/crackers.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    Individually wrapped string cheese.

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      greygarious: respectfully disagree with the recommendations of using cheeses, bacon, mayo, and potato salad for this purpose.

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        I didn't suggest potato salad - merely pointed out that mayo can take lack of refrigeration, though people (including you, apparently) don't realize that.

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          that wasn't the original question.
                                          the OP was looking for foods that would work best for handing out to HOMELESS people.
                                          the lack of refrigeration and lack of a good place to stash the food are the main considerations.
                                          would you like to carry around potato salad in your pocket in the heat?
                                          whether or not one of the ingredients would cause food-sickness or not taken by itself is just a portion of the larger challenge.

                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                            For the second and FINAL time, I did not suggest potato salad. I mentioned mayo as an acceptable ingredient for sandwiches that could stand hours without refrigeration, and why. Sheesh!

                                      2. re: greygarious

                                        I understand where you are coming from, any attempt to get wholesome food is good but, think like a homeless person. If you are given a lunch bag, chances are that you will keep it as long as you can before consuming. Most homeless will rely on food shelter programs, picking trash cans for bottles, food scraps, pan handling etc as part of their daily routine before eating that lunch bag. Believe me, I've worked with many shelter and support orgs, they know the homeless very well. They recommend that lunch bags designed for the homeless to take with them after they leave the shelter or soup kitchen should contain shelf stable products.

                                      3. I know you're thinking nutritious, but a couple of chocolate kisses or a mini chocolate bar might be a welcomed treat.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: nemo

                                          OP said "convenience might trump nutrition." I think a treat of some sort is great.

                                          1. re: nemo

                                            Actually snickers bars have decent nutrition too....

                                            1. re: nemo

                                              the real estate challenged deserve a little joy in life too.

                                            2. Cubes of cheese, salami, pepperoni and crackers.

                                              ground beef burritos with rice and beans. Pre make the burritos and wrap them in foil. They will stay hot for longer.

                                              Tuna Fish or egg salad sandwiches

                                              Hummus with carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, and pita

                                              cut up fruit kabobs with yogurt dipping sauce

                                              Trail Mix

                                              Muffins

                                              Celery with peanut butter

                                              easily eating fruits

                                              Apple slices

                                              soft tacos, premade and wrapped in foil.

                                              Hot dogs

                                              26 Replies
                                              1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                Hot dogs are a good idea. They are acceptable at room temp and with all those preservatives mixed into the snouts and ears and godknows, supermarket brand frankfurters are nearly immortal. Tasty, nonetheless!

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  A lot of stores are selling turkey/chicken dogs in huge packages for little money. I know this cause that's how our dogs get their meds - in little pieces of dogs, or as we call them "wiener meds" :)

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    Hotdogs and American cold cuts will start to get slimy in a few days.

                                                  2. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                    Sandwich-Sister: you think tuna fish and egg salad sandwiches keep unrefrigerated for a long time? potato salad? at what temp? stored in a pocket during the summer months at body temp?

                                                    instead of an apple, which WILL keep for a long time, you are recommending slicing it so it will rot faster? more work and faster-rotting. why?

                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                      I get that this is chowhound, but I don't understand why people are recommending foods that require prep. They are homeless. If they are truly hungry the first order of necessity is calories, then portability and shelf life. Making things like fruit kabobs or sandwiches (grilled cheese??) take additional time and won't do as well at the end of the day as a banana or an apple. A steady diet of bananas and hard boiled eggs will give you pretty much everything you need, nutritionally. They have good shelf life and fit easily into pockets. Plus they are cheap. Pretty much ideal homeless food.

                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                        I don't think people here are talking about the recipients making these thing but rather those giving them out.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Oh I understood that it would be the givers doing the prep. My point still stands.

                                                      2. re: westsidegal

                                                        Perhaps she was talking about those refrigerated sealed packages of sliced apples and other fruit at the grocer's produce section? As long as the packs stay sealed, the fruit will last quite a while even if it's sliced.

                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                          But what a terrible waste of money.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Agreed, it's less expensive to just buy whole fruit but my answer is based on a possible reason why Sandwich Sister may have included sliced apples in her list.

                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                you can buy those sliced apples with the caramel dip relatively cheap. or slice up the apples. Perhaps older homeless may not have the best teeth to eat a whole apple.

                                                                It was just a thought.

                                                                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                  umm I'd be concerned the caramel dip might take out the few teeth left.

                                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                                              Cherylptw: not nearly as long as the UNPEELED/UNCUT fruit will.
                                                              why, praytell, would you choose the form of the food that is most perishable AND has the highest unit cost (peeled and cut) AND is difficult to carry around with you all day as you are rousted from one location to another?

                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                When I see those things in stores, I always wonder who the hell would pay good money for this?

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  My understanding is that the packaged sliced apples and carrots are supposed to be for packing lunches for small children who cannot handle knives, and who manage finger food better than holding a whole piece of fruit in their little hands.

                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                    Totes :) And why can't the parent/caregiver do the same thing. It's like seeing package of chopped onion and the like.

                                                                2. re: westsidegal

                                                                  I really love chowhound most of the time but it's times like this one right her that irritates the hell out of me...

                                                                  Westsidegal: Reel it in...first of all I didn't say that I would choose fruit that is the most perishable or costly. Please, please, please, before you run off on a post, make sure you have your facts straight. I replied to your statement to Sandwich Sister that perhaps her reason for including sliced apples in her list of foods was that maybe she was considering the sealed packages of sliced fruit. That may not have been her reason for putting sliced apples on her list, I don't know but i do know that this thread is for suggestions. Sandwich Sister listed her suggestions. You might not agree with her, or anyone else on this thread but you don't have to.

                                                                  For your information, it's easier to carry around a package of cut apples that are SEALED (which contains a preservative also so no chance of it going bad unless the homeless person is not going to eat it for a week even if it's not refrigerated) than to carry around a whole apple in their pocket as a matter of fact, it's easier as a whole apple contains a core, which most people don't eat.

                                                                  Any prepared food the homeless receive is not meant to last forever before being eaten. Homelessness does not equal lack of common sense so let's hope they use it to make sure their donated food don't go bad before being eaten. Perishables are not meant to be held on to for extended amounts of time.

                                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                    For your information, it's easier to carry around a package of cut apples that are SEALED (which contains a preservative also so no chance of it going bad unless the homeless person is not going to eat it for a week even if it's not refrigerated) than to carry around a whole apple in their pocket as a matter of fact, it's easier as a whole apple contains a core, which most people don't eat.

                                                                    We're all entitled to our opinions but this is factually incorrect. The pre-sliced apples that come in a container contain a lot of empty space - it's not completely packed with apples. So per volume at best you'd be trading the empty space for the core - but the core is still edible while the empty space isn't. (I'm not homeless and I eat the core because I don't want to waste good apple)

                                                                    Not trying to annoy you, just stating the truth. :)

                                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                                      The homeless people that I see usually have something to carry their belonging around, i.e., grocery carts, backpacks. If they're homeless and aren't walking about with these things then likely they have a camp, shelter of something for their stuff.

                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                        You know, you're right about everyone having their own opinion, just like Sandwich Sister had and everyone else on this thread. You don't annoy me as much irritate the hell out of me because if you're going to attempt to make a point, make sure you got your facts straight. MOST people don't eat cores, it's a matter of taste, btw. For your information, those sliced apples come in a vac sealed package like so, they take up hardly any space at all:

                                                                        http://www.mottsfresh.com/apple101_ap...

                                                                        http://www.melaniecooks.com/costco-or...

                                                                        http://www.walmart.com/ip/Crunch-Pak-...
                                                                        (This one is six- 2 oz. packages of sliced apples
                                                                        )Now, that's the truth.

                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                          Aren't those things in the scheme of "good and cheap" not cheap?

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            I never said they were cheap, in fact, they are much more expensive. But my point was not to assume before knowing the facts. A poster said a whole piece of fruit takes up less space than a package of cut up fruit, I merely pointed out that it's not the case. Price was not my reason for pointing it out.

                                                                            NO offense to you whatsoever, but really, if someone posts suggestions when asked, if another is going to try to "one up" someone, they really need to know what they're talking about. I'm done here.

                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                I really don't understand why people are being grumpy about this all. It was asked for suggestions. Convenient was also a word used when asking for suggestions.

                                                                                I say any all all suggestions should be welcome and the OP can pick and choose what they like.

                                                                                I'm not really directing this comment at you, but at everyone involved with complaining over the apples whole versus cut apples.

                                                                  2. re: westsidegal

                                                                    I'm just throwing out ideas. A tuna fish sandwich would last a few hours in a picnic basket scenario.

                                                                    You could also get the little pop top cans of tuna and some crackers.

                                                                3. Our local camps have people with lots of dental issues, so:
                                                                  Boiled eggs
                                                                  Chicken bog (can be given Very Hot in coffee cups)
                                                                  Softer protein bars

                                                                  Small cans of:
                                                                  Beans n franks
                                                                  Chicken/ chicken of the sea
                                                                  Vienna's
                                                                  Taco Bell packettes of hot sauce

                                                                  Nothing "fancy."
                                                                  Nothing that's a "treat" for our guys unless it's with something substantial.

                                                                  Frozen water bottles.

                                                                  ETA: I nearly forgot: Fried Chicken.

                                                                  Kris now in DC/NoVA

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      Chicken bog/ pilau/ perlo
                                                                      Essentially, boiled chicken in rice with sliced sausage (in casings), not a soup but very…wet (hence "boggy.")
                                                                      Lots of regional variations.

                                                                      ETA: or, yummy!!

                                                                      Kris now in DC/NoVA

                                                                       
                                                                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                        That sounds fantastic. Is it safe at high temps for a few hours?

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          You mean sitting around outside for several hours in a huge pot at a church social in SC in 100° July?
                                                                          Probably the way I've had it most often : ).
                                                                          It starts basically boiling, and the pot is so big, and it is so tasty…
                                                                          But any leftovers are good room temp with a little more black pepper.

                                                                          But I'm not your health professional; YMMV

                                                                          1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                            :) That's exactly what I was asking about. I live in a "magic house"also.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              I supposed that'd be stretched to "Blessed" church fellowships, as somehow a Magic Congregation wouldn't sound right, even from Sam.

                                                                              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                How that guy would be replying to some recent threads :)

                                                                    2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                      Woah Kris, this makes total sense! Thank you for the thought.

                                                                    3. Props to you Heather, for wanting to share within your means.
                                                                      I work in hunger relief. Many of our clients have very poor dental health. Several others have no access to kitchen facilities. Therefore, my recommendations/suggestions are informed by my own experience. But here they are:
                                                                      Fresh fruit, cut up; or oranges and bananas (i.e., soft fruit).
                                                                      Pull-top tins of soup, tuna, chicken, stews. With a disposable spoon.
                                                                      Soft granola bars.
                                                                      Dried fruit mix, i.e., apples, raisins, apricots
                                                                      Bottled water
                                                                      Juice boxes
                                                                      Packets of wet wipes
                                                                      Inexpensive cloth napkin (i.e., from a 2nd hand shop?) which can be re-purposed later

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: KarenDW

                                                                        Yes! Wet wipes. Who doesn't love the feeling for clean hands or other parts?

                                                                        1. re: KarenDW

                                                                          I never thought about the wet wipes but that is a good one. and thanks because you mentioned poor dental health. I was thinking that when I added cut up fruits.

                                                                          1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                            Usually when we prep lunch bags we also add items from the Dollar Store like soap, tooth paste and a tooth brush, wipes, personal tissues packs etc.

                                                                            1. re: treb

                                                                              I know its off topic for food but maybe tampons or pads for girls

                                                                              Emergen-c powder is really good but not cheap.

                                                                        2. Just you few more ideas.

                                                                          string cheese sticks

                                                                          A veggie pita pocket with cheese and a little dressing packet.

                                                                          Salsa and chips

                                                                          Cold brew tea bags, sports drink powders

                                                                          Bread Sticks with a marinara sauce

                                                                          Jar of Pickles

                                                                          Soft pretzels with mustard

                                                                          1. I've seen these meal/snack boxes at Target and BJ's, but haven't tried them. www.gopicnic.com They are not inexpensive (BJ's had a pack of 4 hummus meals for $12; they are about $5 from the manufacturer's website) but I wonder if the manufacturer might be willing to offer a volume or charity discount?

                                                                            1. A box of texas toast cook as directed. Add pizza Sauce,cheese, and pepperoni. Press and grill sandwiches.

                                                                              Cut in half but wrap then in foil. They will stay hot and warm for a while. plus if they do get cold they are still good like pizza.

                                                                              1. A box of banana nut muffin mix. Easy to make. and stay good for a while.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                  You mean to GIVE them the box of mix???

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    obviously not. Is there a problem on why you keep negatively posting on my suggestions?

                                                                                    Furthermore, you seem to have a lot more negative comments on this thread than suggestions.

                                                                                    In fact I looked up through the thread and you did not have an original suggestions post. Just a link to a story and a lot Negative, opinionated replies to other peoples comments

                                                                                2. You can make a bunch of wraps pretty easy and cheaply.

                                                                                  As usually wrapping them in foil is a good idea to keep them together. I know the homeless around here do stick together so they often share the food when they get it because they don't always have good ways of keeping it.

                                                                                  Here are some ideas. I have modified these from ones I have seen to keep it more cheap and convenient.

                                                                                  Italian wrap - Ham + Salami or Pepperoni, Provolone cheese. Lettuce, Tomato, Onion .

                                                                                  Veggie Wrap - with your choice of cheese. I like my veggie wraps with tzatziki but for this I would suggest packets of salad dressing.

                                                                                  Turkey Wrap - Cream Cheese spread on wrap, with turkey, lettuce, tomato and pickle

                                                                                  Cuban - - Ham,. Swiss, Pickles

                                                                                  Rice and Beans Wrap with pepper jack cheese.

                                                                                  Club - Turkey, Ham, cooked piece of bacon, cheese with lettuce, tomato and onion

                                                                                  Sure they are simple but when your homeless sometimes the delight is that your not eating the same thing all the time.

                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                    Except for rice and beans, those ingredients aren't particularly affordable.

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      These ingredients are affordable. The OP already said she gives them Deli Meat.

                                                                                      These are suggestions after all.

                                                                                      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                        She mentioned she's picked those things up but would like to have "good and cheap" on hand. Ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, turkey, ham, Swiss,bacon and cheese are in no way even inexpensive much less cheap. I'm not picking on you at all but I think if we don't stay even close to what she's asking it's a boundless list.

                                                                                        Regarding the muffin mix, I guess I didn't understand why you were calling it a box of muffin mix rather than muffins. Sorry.

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          No Worries,

                                                                                          maybe we just have different ideas on inexpensive.

                                                                                          1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                            Just being a frugal math nerd...

                                                                                            People think of bacon as being inexpensive but when you consider post-cook weight (and especially if you're one of those crazy people who discard the grease) it's one of the most expensive proteins out there. A lb of standard (Oscar Meyer) bacon is 6.99 regular and 3.99 on sale. Once you cook it you're down to half a lb which is far from cheap. Cooked bacon can cost you 14$/lb if you bought it at regular price!

                                                                                            Compare to things like pork shoulder (1.29/lb), whole chicken (.99/lb), or ground beef (1.99/lb), it's relatively quite expensive. These are everyday prices where I live.

                                                                                            Things like London broil (1.99) and turkey breast (.99) can be had for cheap when on sale too.

                                                                                            Compare those prices to deli ham/salami/cheeses, which hover roughly in the 5.99-7.99/lb range (though these have no cook/shrink loss).

                                                                                            The exception is buying shank hams, which are generally cheaper and can go on sale from time to time in the 1$/lb range. This is the only time I buy ham. I just feel like I'm getting ripped off buying the deli stuff.

                                                                                            Just a public service announcement. :)

                                                                                            1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                              Why I rarely buy deli meats. And, due to that nasty pig virus, bacon has gone out of sight.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                What is this pig virus you're talking about, and is it delicious?

                                                                                                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                      Thanks for moderating. My reply was to explain why bacon has gotten so expensive.

                                                                                              2. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                Some supermarkets routinely have deli ends on sale for considerably less money but you might have to be picky. Sometimes they are quite fresh, other times they look like they had best be eaten that day. On a few occasions, I've lucked into things like gorgeous roast beef that someone accidentally sliced from the side rather than the end, ham mistakenly sliced a bit too thickly. The cheese ends always remain good for many days. When I want to make sandwiches from a chunky deli end, I hand-slice thinly, on a diagional.

                                                                                      2. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                        Just a note-> the guys, and ladies for that matter, will take a white bread sandwich with just about anything inside that looks like meat.
                                                                                        Wraps are a little "esoteric."

                                                                                        I guess the first thing I would wonder is if the OP means beggars or homeless people. To the actively begging, I prefer to give nonperishable, long-shelf life items.

                                                                                        .
                                                                                        Kris now in DC/NoVA

                                                                                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                          Kris, why the distinction between beggars and homeless? Just wondering. I'm sure it's a distinction for good reason.
                                                                                          Thank you for the suggestions everyone. I just want to kick a sandwich to the hungry in my neighborhood. I'm not cooking a mess of food, getting in my car, and driving to feed the many. The no fridge is more about MY convince than anything. The idea is to grab a bag or two from the pantry on my way out the door. I've done this the last three days with great success, but rumor on the street is that I have competition! There's some other person doing the same and apparently their bread is fresher!

                                                                                          1. re: heatherjwalter

                                                                                            In this case, competition is good and welcome, there are a lot who need help, especially with receiving a meal. Keep up your effort, even feeding a few is bigger than you think. You'll be blessed for your effort.

                                                                                            1. re: heatherjwalter

                                                                                              You are a wonderful person and a gift to your community! Thank you for feeding people in need :)

                                                                                              1. re: heatherjwalter

                                                                                                well forget our words - "and apparently their bread is fresher!"
                                                                                                there's the standard you need to meet. (smirk)

                                                                                                whatever you do is better than nothing.

                                                                                          2. Snacks

                                                                                            They sell store brand Nilla Wafers. or Vanilla Wafers and they are cheaper and taste the same as the name brand.

                                                                                            There are also some store brand trail mix, pretzels as well.

                                                                                            Make rice krispie treats and individually wrap them in plastic wrap. Even though there is butter in them they last a long time.

                                                                                            Beef Jerky or slim Jims - might be better with the slim jims due to dental issues some may have.

                                                                                            Water Melon and Musk Melon Skewers put into a zip lock bag

                                                                                            Cracker Jacks, Animal Cookies, those bagel garlic chips

                                                                                            1. If you take advantage of Buy one Get one free deals. My local publix does that for deli meats, sports drinks, and all sorts of things. That way you have yours for the house and a free one to give out.

                                                                                              1. If you buy the deli meat in the plastic containers you can reuse them to put food in.