During this holiday season, remember that donations to local food banks help families who otherwise might not have enough on which to live.

However, many food banks also accept non-food items — but donations of those items generally are not solicited by those food banks.

These items also help many families, yet often are forgotten.


Food banks often give away unseasoned items such as rice and beans.

While it might seem trivial, the ability to add spices to these items adds flavor to food that otherwise might be bland and flavorless.

Toilet paper

Toilet paper is an undeniably essential item.

The cost of toilet paper has risen substantially in recent years, but it also is an item needed by every family.

Take advantage of coupons and grab a few packages of store-brand toilet paper during the next shopping trip.

Feminine products

Most women aged 13 to 40 years old require these products, but they are not donated very often and often are forgotten necessities.

Small bottles of bath essentials

Those who travel and stay in hotels often might want to pick up gratuitous shampoos and soaps to donate to local food banks.

While they may not care to use the products, they are free items that can be given to those who are less fortunate.

Dental hygiene items

Toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss all can be picked up at cheap dollar-store prices.

But they can be essential to maintaining the dental health of those who might not have the money to spend on such items.