Items needed for High Holiday and remainder of the year food drives

Caroline Musin Berkowitz, director of marketing at The Ark, has assembled a set of guidelines for donations for the organization’s High Holiday Food Drive.

All food donated to The Ark must be kosher. No perishables can be accepted, mandated by Chicago Dept. of Public Health rules on food donations.  Although the Ark has a series of recommended items, the donor, if he or she has time, should contact the agency to see if the needs have recently changed.

Here are guidelines.

  • To preserve the dignity of the food pantry recipients, if you wouldn’t use an item, please don’t donate it.
  • Give food that is new and completely unopened. We cannot distribute open items.
  • Donate only non-perishable items that have at least six months left before their expiration date.
  • Homemade food cannot be donated.
  • Food packaging needs to be intact and undamaged.  
  • Illinois law mandates prescription medication, even unopened, cannot be donated.   

The ARK’s food pantry shopping list for both its High Holiday Food Drive and the remainder of the year is extensive. The charitable organization supplements canned and boxed goods with purchased perishables.

The list includes canned tuna, white rice, unprocessed brown rice, vegetarian tomato sauce, vegetarian pasta sauce, vegetarian canned beans, Heinz/Bush vegetarian baked beans, Green Giant canned vegetables, applesauce, Dole/Del Monte canned fruits, vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, canned or jarred gefilte fish, vegetarian canned beans, quinoa, Del Monte sugar-free canned peaches and pears, baby wipes, children’s diapers, feminine products.

Also: honey, General Mills and Kellogg’s cereals, Hunts or Barilla meat-free tomato sauce, Ouaker unflavored oatmeal, flavored oatmeal packets, JIF/Skippy/Peter Pan peanut butter, Smuckers jam,  bath and facial tissue, paper towels, children’s diapers, adult diapers, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, bar soap, anti-perspirant, and full-sized toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner.

Donations can be dropped off at a number of Chicago and suburban synagogues and institutions. Donations also can be dropped off at the two ARK offices during business hours:  6450 N. California in Chicago and 3100 W. Dundee, Suite 802, in Northbrook.

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