In the season of giving we can tend to go a bit overboard. Here are some things to think twice about before donating to a good cause.

The common view towards food drives is that everything and anything is needed. And while that can be true to an extent, there are some options that have to be discarded once donated.

'Operation: Food Drop' is right around the corner, here's a reminder of what products should stay behind when making a donation.

Homemade Food Items - Listen, we get it. Everyone LOVES your homemade brownies. But knowing they have a short shelf life and the number of different food allergies out there it would be best to donate a food item with an ingredients label.

Glass Items - Transporting food from donation center to needy families can be strenuous on the food packaging. When donating products in glass packages, like tomato sauce or juices, there is a large chance of breaking which would lead to contaminating other foods, not to mention all the glass pieces floating around. Instead, try to find products in boxes or cans when possible.

Expired Food Items - Sometimes people aren't looking when they're collecting food items from their kitchen to to donate. When an item that has passed its expiration date is donated, it's taking away space for other products that would be better suited for our families. Make sure you read your labels before packing your cars!

Alcohol - Although a glass of wine is how some folks might celebrate the holidays, it is not an acceptable product to bring to a food drive. Instead, try to donate 100% fruit juice.

Open Packages - It may have just ripped on your drive over but unfortunately, opened packages cannot be accepted by food drives. With the risk of contaminating food with outside substances, it's best to look closely at each donation before donating it.

Think you've got the stuff to make 1,000 Thanksgiving Day food baskets happen?

Operation: Food Drop is made possible through the help of our community sponsors, including New Bedford Credit Union, Quahog Republic Whaler's Tavern & Quahog Republic Captain's Den, Bay State Windows & Door, Blount Soup and Clam Shack, and Glaser Glass. All collected items will benefit United Way of Greater New Bedford.

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