Stocking a personal pantry or one at a food kitchen requires having items on hand that can be made into quick meals that are inexpensive. Canned goods are pantry staples that don't take up much room and can be made into healthy meals for a family or soup kitchen. Checking expiration dates in your pantry will prevent illness from bad food. Keeping a master list of canned goods will prevent having to run to the store for a missing ingredient when you are ready to start cooking.
Tuna, salmon or chicken are available in cans and add protein to meals. Canned meats added to pasta, rice or vegetables make an easy meal that can be served at home or to a large group of people. Many people who use food pantries choose canned meats because they are inexpensive, but healthy. Having canned meats in the pantry means never having to wait for something to defrost.
Fruits and Vegetables
Canned fruits and vegetables are both healthy and ready to eat out of a can. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals. Vegetables from a can make a quick side dish or addition to pasta sauces, meatloaf or stir-fries. Diced or stewed tomatoes create pasta sauces or chili. Canned fruit with cereal makes a healthy and fast breakfast. They can also be put in children's lunchboxes or served as dessert. When choosing canned fruits and vegetables, the preferences of the family should be considered so items that no one is going to eat aren't taking up pantry space.
Soups from a can are a quick and inexpensive lunch or dinner. Children can take warmed soup in a vacuum bottle to school for lunch as a filling and healthy alternative to the school cafeteria fare. Canned soups are an ideal item for food pantries because families can serve them as simple meals. For families who are health conscious, many varieties of canned soups offer reduced sodium, reduced fat and reduced calorie versions. Soups with vegetables and beans provide fiber and vitamins and minerals.