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It's OK to Give Food as a Gift

Updated on October 29, 2011
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.

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.


Submit a Comment

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I am glad you liked the hub. Gift baskets really do make great gifts... especially anything with food in them. Thanks for the comment!

  • VendettaVixen profile image

    VendettaVixen 6 years ago from Ireland

    I definatly agree with the "make your own basket if you want" idea. I recently started to make up different themed baskets, and it can be quite fun, it makes you feel good for helping someone out, and people who are really struggling get to eat.

    Everyone wins!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I agree! Someone gave me a basket of cheese once and it was wonderful. I should start making gift baskets full of cheese and chocolate to give to people this holiday season. In my opinion, cheese and chocolate are the best foods ever! Thanks for the vote and comment.

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Jeannie, I am sure anyone would be delighted with a food basket, I think it's a terrific idea, I would love for someone to buy me a basket of cheese.

    Voting up and thanks for sharing.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, a theme is a good idea. Thank you for reading and for the comment.

  • lukegoldstein profile image

    lukegoldstein 6 years ago from Sherman Oaks, CA

    I agree that picking a theme can really make the basket shine. You can also build the basket around an entire dinner, like some appetizers, a main course and a dessert. It's like taking your recipient out for dinner whenever they want.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, when in doubt a premade fruit basket is perfect. Also, it is helpful for people that are not so great at wrapping gifts. Someone else has taken care of everything for them. Thanks for the comment.

  • FloraBreenRobison profile image

    FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

    Great ideas. a fruit basket is already made up, so people who aren't sure waht foods to buy together would have their choices made for them.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    That is so true - coming up with a theme makes it seem like a much more fun gift. I might try that suggestion myself. I was having a hard time last Christmas and my parents gave me a gift full of food and laundry detergent. It was awesome! It helped that it was wrapped and everything, but still, practical gifts are the best for now. Thank you for the comment and the votes.

  • K. Burns Darling profile image

    Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

    Times are tough for nearly everyone right now, and since I am known to create gift baskets of all types for all different people, it would be really easy for me to sneak in a food basket to a friend in need without arousing too much suspicion...Another way to give a food basket would be to do a basket with a meal or type of food theme, for Italian do different types of pasta, with sauces, etc... Great Hub about an original idea with great tips to follow. Voted up useful and interesting