Home » Goodwill » Does Goodwill Take Non-Perishable Food

Does Goodwill Take Non-Perishable Food

Goodwill is a renowned international non-profit organization with a simple but powerful mission: to enhance the dignity and quality of life for individuals and families by helping people reach their full potential through education, skills training, and the power of work.

When you think of Goodwill, the first image that likely comes to mind is their chain of thrift stores, filled with donated clothing, furniture, and household goods. But their mission goes far beyond that, into areas of community support and empowerment you may not have considered.

The Critical Importance of Food Donations

Food donations are a lifeline for those in need, ensuring that people facing food insecurity have access to nutritious meals. According to Feeding America, 42 million people in the United States struggled with hunger in 2021.

Food donations directly impact this statistic, providing a ray of hope and a full stomach to many. While Goodwill’s mission is noble and wide-reaching, does it extend to the realm of food donations?

Food Donations and Goodwill

Goodwill’s Focus on Non-food Items

Despite the tremendous need for food donations in many communities, Goodwill is not typically a destination for these items. Their infrastructure and mission are designed around non-food items, aiming to provide job training and employment services, rather than directly addressing food insecurity.

Goodwill’s Role in Partnership with Local Food Banks

That’s not to say Goodwill doesn’t recognize or support the need for food assistance. In many communities, Goodwill works closely with local food banks, serving as a conduit for financial support and volunteer manpower, but they typically do not accept or distribute food donations themselves.

Table of Non-perishable Foods Goodwill Accepts and Doesn’t Accept

Non-perishable Food Item Accepted by Goodwill
Canned Vegetables No
Pasta Rice
Canned Meats No
Peanut Butter No
Cereal No

Alternatives for Food Donations

The Role of Local Food Banks

If you have non-perishable food items to donate, your local food bank is a great place to start. Food banks specialize in accepting, storing, and distributing food donations to those in need in your community. They have the resources to handle food safely and distribute it effectively.

Popular Food Banks and Their Contact Information

In the United States, some widely recognized food banks include Feeding America, Food Pantries, and Second Harvest. A quick internet search can provide contact information and donation guidelines for these organizations and other local food banks in your area.

Donate Non-perishable Foods Directly to Food Banks

While Goodwill can’t accept your food donations, local food banks can and will be grateful for them. Non-perishable items such as canned goods, pasta, rice, and baby food are always in high demand.

Other Ways to Support Goodwill’s Mission

Alternative Donation Items Accepted by Goodwill

Though Goodwill can’t take your food donations, they will gladly accept many other items. Consider donating clothing, books, toys, furniture, or electronics to support their mission.

The Power of Monetary Donations

Monetary donations to Goodwill can also make a tremendous impact. They can leverage these funds to provide essential training and employment programs. These funds also support their partnerships with local food banks and other community resources.

Volunteering at Goodwill

Another powerful way to support Goodwill is to donate your time. Volunteering opportunities with Goodwill can range from working in their stores to providing administrative support or even tutoring individuals in their job training programs.


To sum up, while Goodwill does not typically accept food donations, they play a crucial role in supporting communities and individuals in need. They focus on accepting items like clothing, furniture, and household goods, which they sell to support their employment programs.

Your non-food donations to Goodwill can make a significant difference in someone’s life by providing job training and employment opportunities for people who may otherwise struggle to find work.

Just because Goodwill doesn’t accept food doesn’t mean you can’t help. Consider donating non-perishable food items to your local food bank, and continue to support Goodwill with non-food donations, monetary gifts, or your volunteer time.


What are the most popular non-perishable foods to donate?

Canned vegetables and fruits, canned meats, peanut butter, rice, pasta, beans, and cereals are among the most popular and needed non-perishable food items.

What are 5 non-perishable foods?

Five common non-perishable foods include canned tuna, canned soup, dried pasta, peanut butter, and canned vegetables.

What can you do with non-perishable food?

Non-perishable food can be donated to local food banks, used in emergency preparation kits, or kept in your pantry for times when fresh food is not available.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!