Donate Food

Hope often begins with a meal.

Food is so much more than physical nourishment—it's comfort, peace of mind, and often a stepping stone to new opportunities. These are incredible gifts. With the support of our community, we distribute almost 2 million kilograms of food each year to our member food banks and meal programs. You can help make it happen! Find where to donate food today

MOST NEEDED FOOD ITEMS 

  • soup and stew
  • canned meat and fish
  • canned vegetables and fruit
  • pasta and rice
  • pasta sauce 
  • peanut butter  
  • cereal 
  • fresh or frozen vegetables and meat

We especially appreciate nutritious food donations that help make up part of a main meal. We also accept new, unopened personal hygiene and household items. 

Are you a business looking to make a large food donation? Read our Donation Guide for the Food Industry (.pdf). We're also grateful for donations that qualify for the Food Bank Tax Credit for Farms (.pdf) or our Food Recovery Program

Did you know hunters can donate their deer and moose meat? Check out our Hunters Helping the Hungry (.pdf) program.

ITEMS WE CAN'T ACCEPT 

To avoid waste, please don't donate: 

  • Items past their expiry date (i.e. infant formula; baby food; and meal replacements, such as Ensure® and BOOST®)
  • Vitamins and over-the-counter medications
  • Food prepared in a home environment like personally wrapped meats, baked goods, preserves, or casseroles 
  • Prepared foods that haven't been made in a professional kitchen 
  • Opened food items, or food not in its original container or packaging 
  • Alcohol (including the 0.5% alcohol) and energy drinks 

WANT TO HOST A FOOD DRIVE?  

Of course you do! Learn how to get started here.  

HOW WE ALLOCATE FOOD

All the food we receive is distributed to our member agencies based on the number of people they support each month.

FOOD RECOVERY PROGRAM

Five days a week our trucks collect food from places where it’s no longer needed and distribute it the same day to one of 49 member agencies in Halifax and Dartmouth. This essential program helps reduce food waste and increases access to healthy, fresh food. 

Section 4A of the Volunteer Services Act of Nova Scotia helps protect food donations through our food recovery program.

If you have a commercial kitchen or are a food retailer with surplus food, we’d love to connect with you and work together to distribute food that can make a world of difference. 

FOOD BANK TAX CREDIT FOR FARMS

The Food Bank Tax Credit for Farms (.pdf) offers qualified farmers the opportunity to recoup the costs of charitable donations with a non-refundable tax credit valued at 25% of the fair market value of your donated food.

We’ll pick up your product that is safe to distribute, (along with an invoice from the farm for the donation), weigh it, and issue a tax receipt. If your donation is a smaller amount, please consider donating directly to a member agency in your area. Use our Where to Donate Food tool to find one close to you.

Read more from Canada Revenue Agency on the Nova Scotia Food Bank Tax Credit for Farmers.