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Someone Donated 40-Year-Old Canned Goods To A Food Bank

Donating canned goods to a charity is generally considered a nice thing to do. It's also a great way to occasionally empty out the pantry. It comes as no surprise to food pantry workers when people's donations include some expired canned goods.

Sometimes, however, it gets a little ridiculous.

A food bank in Cardiff was given a donation that they say is a record. Fundraising officer Helen Bull says it's common to find cans in the donation bins that are expired, but usually, the food bank workers give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they didn't realize it.

This particular donation couldn't have escaped anyone's notice, though.

Someone dumped a can of Heinz Ready to Serve Kidney Soup into the donation bin. While there was no date on the product that they could find, it did have a '10d' price sticker.

In England, 'd' was the denotation for 'pence', but that pricing system was done away in 1971 when they began using decimals. The can is a minimum of 46 years old.

"It's a record!! Never had a donation to @CardiffFoodbank with 10d on before!" tweeted the food bank.

Heinz responded, saying, "Wow! That soup was discontinued over 35 years ago. Should be in a museum rather than a food bank!"

The same donor also gave the food bank a 35-year-old can of sweet corn. Hull says it probably belonged to an elderly person who passed away.

"Probably what's happened is that it is harvest time and lots of people clean out their cupboards and donate items that they have never used and don't really look at them," she said. "Unfortunately what sometimes happens is that when an older person dies the family will clean out the cupboards and they want to donate and don't necessarily realize that it was out of date."

Sadly, a lot of the food donated just ends up being wasted in the garbage when the dates are expired. It is unfortunate because if people cleaned out their cabinet and got rid of unused stuff before the expiration date passes, someone could have used that meal.

However, in this individual's situation, there probably weren't many food banks around 46 years ago. Food bank volunteers and employees pretty much see it all by the way of crazy donations.

While some can be chalked up to an honest mistake, there are many items that you just have to wonder what the donor was thinking. It's almost as if the goal of their donation was to insult people rather than do good.

Food banks get more than their share of items that are practically inedible. It's not just expired cans that find their way to the centers, but dented, crushed, flood-ravaged and label-less cans.

The Northwest Harvest donation center claims that over the years they have gotten food 20 years out of date, and some very strange selections such as snake soup, armadillo meat and kangaroo pate.

There are also a few tired foods that may be perfectly good to eat, but the people getting them as a donation aren't any more thrilled about them than the people who didn't want them in the first place.

Let's face it - celery soup, canned pumpkin, clam sauce and untouched fruitcake from the holidays are just not the most appetizing foods, even when you are hungry.

If you really want to help out at food banks, there are certain items that are in high demand. Feminine products, baby toiletries, baby food and formula are much-needed items for many moms.

Most of the canned fruit that comes into food banks is pineapple; many people really enjoy other varieties of fruit, though, such as peaches, pears, and fruit cocktails. Also, a little treat, such as granola bars, chocolate or cookies, is much appreciated by people who usually view these items as luxuries.

Source: Irish Examiner
Photos: USDA/Flickr, Cardiff Foodbank/Twitter, U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Victoria Taylor, U.S. Air Force/Debi Smith

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