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Home»Programs»Scouting for Food»The Perfect Bag

The Perfect Scouting for Food Bag

The products depicted are representations only and are not intended to indicate sponsorship or endorsement by the product manufacturers.
Question: With so many canned food options on the store shelves, how do I know what items are best to donate to food drives such as Scouting for Food?

Answer: After consulting with numerous food pantry directors in the area and seeking nutrition advice from Roberta Larson Duyff, a local registered dietitian and author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 4th edition 2012, we compiled what we like to call the Perfect Bag. The Perfect Bag contains variety of nutrient-rich foods from all five food groups.

  • 2 cans of hearty soup, stew or chili: Supplies many nutrients.
  • 2 cans of tuna, chicken, turkey, salmon or luncheon meat (e.g., Spam): Contains protein and iron. Canned salmon is a source of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • 1 can of fruit: Supplies vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, fiber and other healthy substances.
  • 1 can of 100 percent pure fruit or vegetable juice: Contains vitamin C and often beta carotene.
  • 1 can of vegetables: Supplies beta carotene, vitamin C, folate, complex carbohydrates, fiber and potassium.
  • 1 can of tomato or pasta sauce: Contains vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, a healthy substance that is more available to your body in canned and cooked tomatoes than in fresh. 
  • 1 canned meal: Offers a variety of ingredients and nutrients.
  • 1 can of beans, refried beans or lentils: Contains plenty of protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber.
  • 1 can of evaporated milk: Makes an excellent source of calcium and protein.