The Cut Out Hunger program was started after Stephanie Nelson (the Coupon Mom) visited her local food pantry and discovered that the pantry shelves were empty and the waiting room was full. To help fill their shelves, she began teaching a few friends how to buy food with coupons for that charity in October 2000. Today, thousands of shoppers are "cutting out hunger" across the country while saving money on their own groceries, too. You can even get your kids involved with our special "Kids Cut Out Hunger" program!
We encourage people to find their local food pantry, visit it to learn more about the specific needs in your community, and get involved as a regular food donor and/or volunteer.
In general, food pantries/banks request nonperishable foods. Below, we have listed several nutritious options and items that are constant necessities:
The items charities NEED most are:
• Canned protein sources. (stews, chili, tuna, meats, beans)
• Pasta sauces, canned tomatoes.
• Peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, pastas, rice.
• Toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste/brushes.
• Cereals including boxed and hot items like oatmeal.
• Diapers in sizes larger than newborn.
Cut out coupons for these non-perishables and buy these items when they are on sale. You will be able to feed the hungry in your community with some of your own savings! Many of the items on our Best Deals lists are FREE, or practically free, after a coupon. If the item is appropriate for charity it will be marked with the word "charity!"
Students from the ages of 3 to 21 have made a real difference where they live using the Kids Cut Out Hunger program to raise food for local charities. Check out our special Kids Cut Out Hunger section to help your Scout groups, youth groups, school classes, neighborhoods and your own children feed others at a very low cost, or even FREE!
The best way to find your nearest food pantry is to go to a search engine like Google and enter the term "food pantry," "homeless shelter," "community charity" or similar term. You can also call a local place of worship or a school and ask where they take their food when they have a food drive.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead