NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley Family Service Bureau issued a "wish list" of non-perishable food items ahead of the annual 'Scouting for Food' drive on March 21. The list includes the most requested items for clients of the NFSB food pantry.

While all non-perishable food will be accepted, there are certain items that seem to be in constant demand. At the top of the list is protein sources, primarily peanut butter, canned tuna, and canned chicken. Clients love fruit, so jars of applesauce, especially no-sugar-added varieties, and canned fruit are appreciated. Canned fruit includes canned pineapple, as well as pears, apricots, apples, and other fruits. Boxed macaroni and cheese is always well received, as is boxed cereal. Tomato products,jars of sauce and canned tomatoes, are always in demand because pasta is a major component of the bi-weekly grocery bags.

When making purchases to donate, ask yourself, would I, or my kids, eat this? if the answer is no, and its usually "no" with canned asparagus, then, make another choice.

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On drive day (March 21) an army of scouts collect food from doorsteps and deliver it to Franklin Reformed Church where the sorting process begins. Given the volume of food collected, it cannot all be done in one day. In 2019, the process lasted two weeks. This year, the whole project needs to be completed by April 4. 

Sorting consists of organizing like things together, but it also involves locating expiration dates on food and boldly marking the food with the dates with Sharpies. 

In order to make all the sorting and dating work, an army of volunteers is needed. To match the desire to help, with the need for help, NFSB established an online scheduling portal that allows volunteers to determine what times are available.

To sign up to help with "moving a small grocery store" click Scouting for Food Volunteers

Related Article: Scouting for Food 2020 is March 21 in Nutley

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