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It's OK to Give Food as a Gift

Updated on October 29, 2011
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Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

Everyone Needs to Eat

There is one thing we all have in common: we all need to eat. Unfortunately, we live in a tough economic time, so some people are struggling to earn enough money to buy food. If you know someone that is having a tough time and you need to buy them a gift, consider giving them the gift of food.

Naturally you do not want to make it look as if you are giving your friend or family member a "handout." Some people are filled with pride and will not accept food from you. If you are dealing with that type of person, you may not be able to give food as a gift. However, if a person has mentioned not having quite enough money for food or struggling to keep the bills paid, you should consider giving them food in a cute basket or gift bag since they are a bit more open about their situation. The key is to make it look adorable and add some fun items.

For instance, if you are buying a family member an Easter gift, why go out and spend money on something unnecessary like a stuffed bunny? You can get a cute Easter basket, fill it with some much needed grocery items, and maybe add a cute little stuffed animal from the dollar store. You could even add a small chocolate bunny for good measure. When presented in such a way, it is hard for a person to resist accepting such a thoughtful gift.

Food Items to Include

The best food items to include in your food gift basket or food gift bag are non-perishable items. If your loved one has already gone grocery shopping recently it would defeat the purpose to give items like bananas, milk, and meats. Even bread can be a little iffy if your recipient does not like to freeze their bread in the fridge. Make sure just to get one loaf if you are buying bread just to be safe. When in doubt, muffin mixes are a much better idea.

Some of the best items to include in your present are:

  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Cans of soup
  • Cans of vegetables
  • Mac & cheese
  • Muffin mixes
  • Jello
  • Cans of tuna or chicken
  • Cereal
  • Pop Tarts
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Granola bars
  • Cereal bars
  • Rice

You may also include some items in the gift that are not food related, but are just as important. Some other items you may want to consider are:

  • Paper towers
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth brush
  • Feminine products
  • Detergent
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Cold medicine
  • Pain relievers
  • Band Aids
  • Soap or shower gels

The Fruit Basket

A time honored gift that seems to come out every holiday season is the infamous fruit basket. This gift is becoming popular again since people are giving more practical gifts in this economy. If you know someone that enjoys eating fruit or you are giving this to a family, this could be the best bet. It helps to promote healthy eating in a family full of children. Just make sure you don't make the mistake of give a stocking full of candy as well. I hate to tell you this, but the stocking full of candy is going to win everytime! Your fruit may go bad sitting there with competition like that.

Aside from the fruit basket, many other fun premade baskets are on the market now. You can get your friends and family members everything from baskets of cheese to baskets of jellies. These gifts tend to be a bit overpriced at times. If you friend is not picky and really can't afford many groceries, I would still recommend a gift basket filled with more practical items.

Share with Others

If you are doing well financially and really find you have a gift at creating useful gift baskets, I would suggest taking some of that generosity to churches and other organizations that are collecting for the hungry. Maybe you would like to volunteer to assemble some nice food baskets for others in need. Perhaps you would like to donate some items that are on the lists above.

Now is a time to look out for those around us more than ever before. The economy is supposed to be looking up, but most of us are not feeling it yet. Anything we can do to help each other is greatly appreciated. Giving a practical gift, like the gift of grocery items or a grocery store gift card, is the best idea for many right now.


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