Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
two women shopping in a food pantry

Urgent: Seasonal items needed at our food pantries

Added on Monday, November 27, 2017

During the holidays, families and friends alike tend to gather in one place – around the dining room table. It’s here that we reconnect with one another over a warm, comforting meal. Now take a moment and think about what foods fill that table. Are there any special recipes your family prepares every year? What is the one dish that you look forward to the most?


These recipes are part of the traditions we carry with us. Unfortunately, not all families are able to make these traditions come alive during the holidays, especially if they lean on the support of food shelves to help fill their pantries. Sure, many of our guests find their needs met when seeking basic grocery necessities, but they’re unable to find those items that turn their family dinners into a special treat. After all, what’s Thanksgiving without the pumpkin pie?

This holiday season, you can help give these families something special to look forward to by donating these items to our food pantries:

  1. Canned Pumpkin. It’s no surprise that canned pumpkin made our wish list and that of many of our guests. Like we mentioned above, pumpkin pie is a real classic. What’s great about this holiday staple is that it’s so versatile. With its sweet, savory taste, it’s the perfect addition to many sweet baked goods, breads and even soups.
  2. Potatoes. Like canned pumpkin, potatoes can be used in a variety of ways to suit many holiday traditions. For example, potatoes are the base ingredient in traditional foods like potato pancakes and lefse. In addition, we’re all familiar with the many varieties of mashed, baked and fried potatoes we can make as side dishes to the main meal. We’ll take both sweet potatoes and the regular kinds.
  3. Spices. These simple ingredients amplify the flavor of our favorite foods. We recommend donating nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, thyme, rosemary, and allspice.white and brown sugar
  4. Baking ingredients. In following our note about spices, common baking ingredients are just as important to creating our favorite holiday treats. Whether it’s flour, sugar or baking soda, these items are always in demand at our pantries. You could also simplify things and donate boxed brownies, cookies and cake, as they often require very little additional ingredients to make.
  5. Cornbread or biscuit mixes. These two items are popular sides found at almost every holiday meal, and they’re easy to make. You can find plenty of items at your local grocery store.

What’s the best part about adding a few of these holiday items to your donation? Thanks to your generosity, those struggling to make ends meet are able to gather around the dining room table and share their family traditions with loved ones.

Giving Nonperishable Food

If you desire to do something good, to help those in need this season, you can join our battle against poverty by supporting our food shelves. Salvation Army locations in the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota and North Dakota welcome your direct donations of seasonal nonperishable foods.

Monetary donations are also appreciated. You can make an online donation to support food programs in your local community.

Poverty is an everyday battle. People experiencing poverty are not without hope – their lives are just harder than they should be. The Salvation Army is helping to make their lives a little easier, thanks to your gifts of time and money. Join us in the fight for good by giving online or donating at a red kettle, becoming a volunteer bell ringer, or recruiting your own army as a fundraiser on Learn more about how The Salvation Army fights poverty in your community.