The holiday season is all about family, traditions, and sharing a meal around the table. It is also a season of giving, with many of us planning to donate food, money, or volunteer time to our local food bank.
In addition to canned goods, have you considered adding beef to your list of foods to donate? Protein foods, an important part of a balanced diet, can often be in short supply at food banks. Beef, a high-quality source of protein, provides 50% of the daily value (25g) in one cooked 3 oz serving.
To get started, talk to your local food bank about their regulations for donating perishable beef products. For example, Central Texas Food Bank gladly accepts beef with the following guidelines.
- Freeze the meat first before bringing it to the food bank.
- All meat and poultry can be frozen and kept for use up to 2 months past their ‘use by date.’
- All meat and poultry must be individually labeled with ingredients and where it came from/brand. For instance, if you donate a box of briskets, each must be individually labeled.
Think outside of the box and donate beef jerky for a shelf stable and high-quality source of protein. Also consider hearty canned beef soups and stews. If possible, choose soups that are low in sodium with vegetables and grains. Not all food banks are able to accept perishable meat products, so providing shelf stable proteins are a big help.
Overall, food banks are looking for nutritious foods, such as beef, to serve individuals and families in need. While donations are needed during the holidays, consider providing food or donating your time year-round.