Most Needed Items | Richmond Food Bank Society

Most Needed Items | Richmond Food Bank Society

By Keith Yee in Donation on April 6, 2018

Monetary donations allow us to purchase foods and resources that are needed the most.  This can include fresh foods like fruits, vegetables and milk.  For every $1 donated, we can give out about $6 worth of food (based on 2019 data).  Donations of $20 or more are eligible for a tax receipt.

You can donate online securely through our Canada Helps page, over the phone (604-271-5609) with a Visa or Mastercard credit card, by mail with a cheque payable to the Richmond Food Bank Society, by e-Transfer to, or in person by cheque or cash at our main office (100-5800 Cedarbridge Way, Richmond BC, V6X 2A7).

In a typical week, your donations help us serve more than 1400 people through our grocery distributions and an additional 800 people through our school meals and community partners programs.

Here are some of our most needed items: (Click here to download our Most Needed Items Poster)

Our Top 5 Items, other than monetary donations, as of November 2020:

  • Peanut Butter (especially with little or no added sugar or salt)
  • Canned meat (ex: chicken, turkey), fish (ex: sardines, mackerel), and vegetarian protein (ex: beans, peas, lentils)
  • Canned vegetables, tomato sauce, and fruits (especially with little or no added sugar or salt)
  • Rice, pasta (including whole grain pasta), and whole grains (ex: basmati rice, barley)
  • Gift Cards (ex: for prepared foods / hot beverages, in increments of around $10 or $25. These gift cards are useful for those of our clients who do not have access to kitchen facilities.)

(Oftentimes we also need the following items):

  • Soup and healthy tinned meals (ex: chunky soup/stew, chili, cream of mushroom soup, tomato soup, etc.)
  • Baby food and formula (non-expired)
  • Unopened toiletries and personal hygiene items – toilet tissue, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products (especially pads), adult incontinence products (especially briefs)
  • Canned Milk (especially unsweetened)
  • Healthy cereal (including whole grain cereal, oats)

To ensure health and safety, we are unable to accept the following items:

  • Energy Drinks and Soda (Pop)
  • Pharmaceuticals (prescription or over-the-counter drugs, pain-killers, vitamins, health supplements, laxatives, weight-loss products, antacids, decongestants, antihistamines etc.)
  • Homemade items (foods cooked/prepared at home or anywhere other than a licensed commercial kitchen)
  • Expired baby food or formula
  • Products containing any amount of alcohol (including de-alcoholized beer and beverages)
  • Cigarettes or smoking/vaping products
  • Bulging (puffy), severely dented, or corroded/discoloured canned foods
  • Open/used packages of food (where the food product has been exposed to the air)

We do not distribute foods that are more than a year past the best before date. When donating items (even if they are shelf-stable), please try to donate only good-quality, healthy items that are not more than a year past the best before date. We will recycle/compost or otherwise discard donated items that we cannot distribute. Please help us keep our unnecessary waste disposal to a minimum.

You can visit this page for more information on donating food.

About the author

Keith Yee

Keith Yee is the Richmond Food Bank's General Manager.