Pantry Donation Guide

UPDATE: Please view our donation guidesheet [PDF] for our updated information.


Drop off donations at the Spartan Food Pantry (Student Union- Exterior entrance
across from Engineering Bldg) during business hours. Hours vary.

Key Principles


Only donate quality items you would use yourself


Original manufacturer sealed packaging must be in place

Not Expired

Be aware of food dates; while most foods are safe to eat beyond manufacture label dates, items with dates well beyond will not be placed in our inventory


Items that are in greatest need are individual serving sizes, easily opened (pull-back/pop-top lids), or microwavable (not all students have access to a full kitchen)


Preferably organic, BPA Free, whole-grain/multi-grain, low-sodium foods

Note about fresh produce

If you have larger amounts of washed fruits or vegetables from gardening, gleaning, or purchases, please contact us before bringing as we might not always be able to accommodate them.

Suggested items you can donate

  • Canned meat/proteins (tuna, salmon, chicken)
  • Canned beans/peas (pinto, black, chickpeas, kidney, green peas, lentils, etc.)
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts)
  • Nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter)
  • Dried fruit
  • Canned fruit (fruit cocktail, applesauce, peaches, etc.)
  • Canned vegetables (green beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa)
  • Grains (rice, pasta, oatmeal, whole grain crackers, shelf-stable tortillas)
  • Easy to make flavorful meals (eg. Rice Pilaf, Hamburger Helper, Stuffing)
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Box instant potatoes
  • Granola bars/breakfast bars
  • Trail mix snack packs
  • General use seasonings, spice blends (Lowry’s, Tajín, garlic salt, lemon pepper, soy sauce)
  • Pasta sauces
  • Canned chili
  • Popcorn (healthier the better)
  • Cereal (healthier the better, grains vs sugary stuff)
  • Soups (healthier the better, eg. low sodium vegetable, chicken noodle/minestrone over ramen or cup of noodles)
  • Ensure/Boost Nutritional Shake
  • Shelf-stable milk alternatives (almond milk, soy milk, etc).
  • 100% Fruit juice boxes
  • Hygiene products (full size shampoo, deodorant, bar soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste tampons/pads, razors, etc.)
  • Cleaning Supplies (bathroom cleaner, sponges, dish and laundry detergents)

Other ways to donate

Organize a food and/or toiletry drive with your organization

Use the power of your network.

Create incentives and competition among members

Keep in mind that members of your organization might be recipients and not in a place to donate at this time. If you are interested in organizing a drive please coordinate this with us in advance so that we can best accommodate the donated items, give tips, and authorize the use of our name/images. Please contact

Financial contributions

Direct contributions allow us to use funding in the ways that would best serve our students such as buying in bulk, finding niche items not donated, and providing emergency support.

  • Small cash/coin donations can be placed in the donation boxes at campus Spartan Eat locations


Contact: or 408-924-1234

Thank you for thinking of us!