Donating Food Made Easy

Ready to Host a Food Drive?

For individuals collecting fewer than 1,000 lbs of goods we encourage you to raise meals online by hosting a Virtual Food Drive using our free tools. Hosting a virtual food drive is the best way to raise meals for the Central Texas Food Bank. Instead of collecting cans and boxes of food, virtual food drives collect funds. The dollars you raise then go directly to helping feed our neighbors.

Your Virtual Food Drive will raise more meals for Central Texans in need than a traditional food drive. Every dollar you raise can create 4 meals! Click here to get started today.

Not interested in maximizing the meals you create through a Virtual Food Drive? We appreciate all donations and ask that if collecting food you consider donating the items on our most needed items list. For additional information on how to successfully collect food donations, including how to obtain branded collection boxes, check out the FAQ below.

Already Have Food To Donate?

Whether you’ve collected food as a group, are clearing out your kitchen pantry or your garden is growing too quickly, we are here to help you donate your food to those in need as quickly and easily as possible!

Check out answers to frequently asked questions below.

The Food Bank considers donations under 1,000 pounds (or the size of two standard pickup truck beds) as individual donations and kindly ask that you deliver them directly to the Food Bank or one of our many partners with food pantries. To find a pantry near you, click HERE. Some food pantries are only open on certain days and would prefer to set a time with you for your drop-off. To ensure successful delivery please call the pantry before delivering your donation.

We consider 1,000 pounds to be more than what can fit into two standard-sized pick-up trucks. If using our Food Bank branded boxes, 1,000 pounds is roughly 15 of these boxes. By donating the food to us directly you are allowing our Transportation Team to maximize their time working to get food to our Partners and clients in need. Please consider the drop-off as the final step to your donation.

Because our clients' well-being is our first priority, we can only give out food that is safe and healthy. To ensure your gift goes to a family in need here are some of our most needed items:

  • healthy, non-perishable food – our most requested items include:
    • peanut butter
    • canned chicken breast or tuna
    • canned low sodium vegetables
    • canned fruit in its own juice (no sugar added)
    • dry pinto beans
    • brown rice
    • non-fat dry milk powder
    • 100% whole grain cereal
  • items with intact, un-opened, consumer or commercial packaging
  • items with non-breakable packaging (no glass please)
  • Food that is still good to eat – To read our guidelines click HERE.

Is your donation over 1,000 pounds? Please contact Kelsey Kelley at 512-684-2523.

  • Non-food items
  • Ice packs
  • Opened packages
  • At this time CTFB and our agencies can no longer accept PPE supplies (hand sanitizer, faces masks, etc.)

FOOD ITEM SHELF LIFE AFTER CODE DATE
SHELF STABLE
Canned goods (low acidity)* 3 years
Canned goods (high acidity)** 18 months
Dry beans, rice, pasta, ramen 2 years
Boxed/bagged goods – cereal, crackers mixes, etc. 1 year
Sauces, condiments, dressings 1 year
Beverages 1 year
Chips 2 months
Mayonnaise/cream based items 3 months
Baby food/adult formula Discard after date
FROZEN
All assorted meats/poultry 2 months
Fruit, vegetables 6 months
Ice cream 2 months
DAIRY/COOLER
Juice 3 weeks
Milk 1 week
Cheese 1 week (soft), 1 month (hard)
Eggs 3 weeks
Yogurt, sour cream, dips 2 weeks
Salsa, pesto Discard after date
Hummus 1 week
Prepared dishes or meals 3 days
Salads 3 days
PRODUCE
Packaged produce (bagged lettuce, etc.) Discard if moldy, has a slimy look/feel, or is overly soft or discolored
Cut produce Discard if moldy, has a slimy look/feel, or is overly soft or discolored
BREAD/PASTRY
Fresh 4 days
Frozen 1 month
Containing ream Throw away if not kept refrigerated/frozen

Click here to download the printable PDF.

When donating fresh produce please be sure to clean it before hand and remove any items that are too ripe or bruised. Please package produce securely and safely so that it won’t bruise in transport.

Food that is prepared by you can only be accepted if it was cooked in a commercially licensed kitchen that is up to code. All prepared food needs to be package and labeled with an expiration date and ingredients.

Please make sure all donations are packed in cardboard boxes with a sturdy bottom or strong bags that will not tear or tip over. Central Texas Food Bank does provide boxes that can be picked up at our warehouse Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The warehouse is located at 6500 Metropolis Dr., Austin, TX 78744, please use the parking lot entrance off Burleson Rd. Drive through the black gate to our Warehouse loading dock and park in an available spot.

Central Texas Food Bank is partnered with over 250 food pantries in Central Texas. These locations help get food out to their communities quickly and effectively. To find a pantry located in your zip code where you can drop off your donation please click HERE. Some food pantries are only open on certain days and would prefer to set a time with you for your drop-off. To ensure successful delivery please call the pantry before delivering your donation.

We are located at 6500 Metropolis Dr. Austin, TX 78744 (for food donations, please use the parking lot entrance off Burleson Rd. Drive through the black gate to our Warehouse loading dock and park in an available spot in docks 8, 9 and 10). Please place food in the donation bin located on the loading dock or wait to talk to one of our employees. You do not need an appointment to drop off at our location.

Our dock hours are Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

For a receipt: Donations dropped off at our Warehouse do not automatically receive receipts. If you need one please let a staff member at the loading dock know. Please also keep in mind this area is shared with our Partner Agencies who are picking up food to distribute to clients. We ask you to be patient with our Warehouse staff assisting you.

If you would like to download a receipt for your personal use, click here.

Map for parking

Do you have a buck or some doe to spare? Through Hunters for the Hungry, you can donate legally tagged, field-dressed deer to families facing hunger. Learn about the program and the upcoming hunting season.

2021 Holiday Closures

The Food Bank will be closed on the following dates in 2021: September 6, September 23 - 27, October 8 (1 - 5:00 p.m.), November 25, November 26, December 10 (1 - 5:00 p.m.), December 23, December 24 and December 31.

Still have questions? Contact Us.

Contact Kelsey Kelley at 512-684-2523.