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How to Run a Food Drive

Thank you for your interest in helping us feed Rhode Island's most vulnerable citizens. The Food Bank depends upon donations from individuals and businesses to keep food pantries around the state stocked with healthy food.

Our Most-Needed
Non-Perishable Items 


  • Peanut butter
  • Tuna
  • Canned and dried beans
  • Canned chili, soups and stews


  • Nutritious breakfast cereals
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Boxed macaroni & cheese
  • Granola bars
  • Cheese & cracker packages

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Dried fruit
  • Tomato sauce
  • Jams and jelly


  • Extra virgin olive oil

Please only donate food that is in good condition and "in date." Foods six months past their expiration are not accepted. Keep in mind that, when conducting a food drive, it is best to request foods that are within date to limit the potential for expired product.

Also, no homemade products or glass jars of baby food, please. Boxed cereals and formula are welcome if unopened and within date code.

Children and Families

If you would like to get the young people in your life involved in helping the Food Bank, visit our Kids' Page and download a copy of "One Kid Can: Helping the Hungry." The booklet is filled with ideas for children and teenagers that can be organized in your neighborhood, community, school or other organizations.

Individuals, Business and Organizations

Individuals and organizations of any size can get involved in helping the Food Bank. Here's how to get started:

1. Please read One Company Can.  This booklet of best practices will help you develop an effective plan to build teamwork at your workplace while making a real difference to hungry families in Rhode Island.

2. The Food Bank can provide customizable posters and cardboard collection bins (16" x 20" x 14")  that stack and are easy to carry. You may pick up bins between 8 am and 5 pm in our entryway. Please ask our receptionist for posters. If you would like to have your donation weighed, please return the bins and donated food any weekday between 8 am and 3 pm. If you don't need your donation weighed, you may leave the bins and food in the entryway any weekday between 8 am and 5 pm.

3. If you need more help, please contact Patti Perry at (401) 230-1692 or email Patti

4. Don't forget to take photos of your project. Email them to Hugh Minor and you may be featured on our Facebook page!

Donations from the Food Industry

We also accept the following from food distributors, growers and manufacturers:

  • Dry goods
  • Perishable items
  • Stored items
  • Frozen foods
  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Meat products
  • Cosmetically damaged products
  • Code-dated items
  • Discontinued or test-market Items
  • Unlabeled/mislabeled (if proper labels can be supplied) items
  • Private-label brands
  • Household items
  • Under- or overweight Items
  • Personal care items
  • Off-specification products

Drop donations at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Vic Minus at (401) 230-1691 or via email.