Items needed: canned beans, tuna, canned vegetables, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, dry pasta, rice, boxed cereal, ramen noodles
And in an article covering the food drive we are told:
A $1 cash donation will show support with a Bashas’ icon on the store wall. A $25 cash donation will fill an average food box with enough food to feed a family of four for about a week. So whether it’s cash or a canned donation, every donation will be put to good use.
What do the sponsors of these drives think people eat? Most food drives have a "most needed" list (like this flyer) that includes a lot more suggestions with protein, canned fruit, powdered milk, a mention of personal items like toothpaste & soap, and even coffee (which Americans enjoy regardless of their economic status).
And what gives with the continued suggestion of a $1 gift at grocery check out? Grocery stores now have a choice of $25 gift cards at check out for everything from food to DVDs, but the "suggested gift" for the poor at the checkout stand is still $1, $2, or $5.
The $25 cash donation is a better idea, but the suggestion that it will feed a family of four for a week in the USA in 2006 is a bit of a stretch.
The agencies benefitting from the food drive include the local Diocesan Council of St. Vincent de Paul (EIN 86-0096789 Form 990), which is a surprisingly large organization with income of about $30 million (about $14 million in-kind) and a staff of 200. Their mission includes advocacy for the poor, so perhaps they could start to educate the food drive people about what it really costs to feed a family and what people (even poor people) really want and need to eat.