Toronto food bank takes to social media after receiving donations that expired more than 20 years ago

A box of 21-year-old graham cracker crumbs that were donated to the Parkdale Community Food Bank recently are shown. (Instagram)

A can of beef broth that expired a few months after the start of the new millennium and a box of graham crackers from 21 years ago.

Those are just a few of the items that have been “donated” to the Parkdale Community Food Bank in recent weeks and those that work at the facility say that they are tired of having to sort through someone else’s garbage.

The food bank recently took to Instagram to highlight some of the expired items it has received and draw attention to the extra work the practice creates.

One of the food bank’s posts showed a can of Campbell’s beef broth with a listed expiry date of May, 2000. Another showed a box of No Name honey graham cracker crumbs that were even older.

“I honestly don’t know how people hold on to these items for such a significant amount of time, it is like 20 plus years. But I think a lot of the time people use donating to the food bank as a way to like clear out their cupboards and make space for other things in their home and it is definitely an issue for us because it takes up a lot of time for our volunteers in terms of sorting,” Kathleen Raman Costa, the operations manager at the food bank, told CP24.

“There is definitely a lot of effort that goes into sorting donations and people should be mindful that the items that you are donating are actually helpful.”

Costa said that the Parkdale Community Food Bank used to serve about 2,000 families per month prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but has seen demand skyrocket since last March and now regularly provides food to 3,500 to 4,000 families.

For that reason, she said that there is a constant need for donations of both food items and cash.

But she said that those who drop off expired food are just creating more work for volunteers.

“We actually accept all food for our clients and that includes meat and dairy as long as it is not expired of course and fruits and vegetables as well,” she said.