Most Needed Items

Most Needed Items

By Hajira Hussain in Donation on November 17, 2021

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

Our Top 5 Most Needed Items (other than monetary donations):

  • Canned protein – like chicken, turkey, meat, fish (ex: sardines, mackerel, salmon, tuna), and vegetarian protein (ex: beans, peas, lentils)
  • Peanut Butter (especially with little or no added sugar or salt)
  • Canned tomatoes, vegetables, and fruits (especially with little or no added sugar or salt)
  • Rice, pasta (including whole grain pasta), whole grains (ex: basmati rice, barley) and lentils
  • Soup and healthy tinned meals (ex: chunky soup/stew, chili, cream of mushroom soup, tomato soup, etc.)

We also accept:

(Oftentimes we also need the following items):

  • Baby food, formula (non-expired)
  • Baby wipes
  • 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)
  • Gift Cards (ex: for prepared foods / hot beverages, in increments of around $10 or $15. These gift cards are useful for those of our clients who do not have access to kitchen facilities.)

We cannot accept:

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)
  • Recalled food items (please refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website for updates on food recalls)

We do not distribute foods that are more than six months 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 six months past the best before date. We 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.

Monetary donations allow us to purchase our Most Needed Items

Monetary donations allow us to purchase food and resources that are needed the most.  This includes fresh food like fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods, and dairy products.  For every $1 donated, we can give out about $7 worth of food (based on 2022 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 2,900 people through our grocery distributions and home delivery program.

About the author

Hajira Hussain

Hajira is the Richmond Food Bank's Executive Director.