mangostock

It's easy to get wrapped up in all of the superficiality of the Christmas season, and forget what this time of year should really be about- giving. While many of us out there are lusting after big screen TVs and video game systems, there are people who would give anything to simply have a warm meal and a comfortable place to sleep at night.

Food banks can be especially helpful for families that are struggling financially this time of year. Canned goods are a no-brainer donation, but there are a lot of other products that food banks might be in need of.

According to this Ask Reddit thread, here are some of the top items that food banks are looking for that are less obvious:

- Spices: Multiples users commented that spices are helpful for creating more flavor in dishes, and help jazz up the canned food items provided to food bank users.

- Feminine Hygiene Products: It has to be incredibly humiliating, not to mention uncomfortable, to be a homeless or less fortunate person and not have the money for tampons and pads. Check to see if the food bank accepts non food items, or donate to local shelters.

- A good variety of canned and non perishable items: Users said that it's important to donate items that you would want yourself. Everyone deserves to eat well, regardless of income. Suggestions included baking ingredients, peanut butter, canned meats, granola bars (good for kids), tasty soups, and pastas.

- Baby formula: Many mothers are unable to breast feed, it's essential that their babies are still able to receive nutrition.

- Cereals, snacks, and chips- These are items that most people would call every day staples. Unfortunately, they're not things that are donated as frequently.

- Diabetic friendly, gluten free, and soy free items- Something you wouldn't think about donating normally, but dietary restrictions occur to people from all walks of life.

A disclaimer: Not all food banks are in need of these items, so make sure to always double check if you're donating something out of the norm.