When you donate to Good Cheer, you help create a hunger-free community.
You can make a safe, secure, tax-deductible online donation either as a one-time payment, or a monthly donation.
Click on one of the links on the right to make a donation, or, if you prefer, mail a check to:
PO Box 144
Langley, WA 98260.
Our distribution center and thrift stores are closed until further notice, due to COVID-19. Please do not drop off items at the distribution center at this time.
You can still donate food – the drop-off area is behind the Food Bank at the kitchen doors (all the way around the building past the dumpsters). Canned or boxed goods must be within one year of the expiration date.
Other Ways You Can Help…
Donate & Shop: Donate household items, clothing, furniture and working appliances to Good Cheer and shop at Good Cheer Thrift Stores. You can also donate canned goods, and fresh produce to the food bank.
Shopping at Good Cheer Thrift Stores feeds local families. Proceeds from our Thrift Stores supply about 65% of Good Cheer’s budget. Donating used-but-still-usable items helps our environment as well as helping feed people in need on South Whidbey.
Good Cheer is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit. Our nonprofit EIN identification number is: 23-7047914
You can also remember Good Cheer in your will and estate planning. See our Planned Giving page for more details.
Food Donation Guidelines
Q. When should I drop off my donation?
A. You can drop off donations between 10:00am and 4:00pm Monday through Friday. The food bank is currently closed Saturday & Sunday. Please do not leave donations outside when we are closed!
Q. How do I apply to have the Gleeful Gleaners come harvest fruit from my tree?
A. Please visit our website and fill out the fruit tree donor form at least 3 weeks before the fruit on your tree is ripe. The more heads up time you can give us, the more likely it is that we will be able to coordinate a volunteer picking crew to harvest your tree!
Q. Do you care if I grow organically?
A. We can use all fresh produce donations, organic or not. Either way, please tell us! We use organic growing practices here in the Good Cheer Garden, and encourage home growers to do so as well, for the health of our community and environment. Resources are available from the Washington State Master Gardeners to help you garden organically.
Q. I have chickens. Can I donate the eggs?
A. Yes, we love fresh egg donations! Clean eggs should be put into standard one dozen cartons and marked with the date of collection. If you don’t have cartons, we can provide some to you.
Q. I have extra plant starts. Do you want them?
A. Yes! Starts are very popular with clients and volunteers alike. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let our Garden Manager know what varieties you’re bringing, so we can educate new gardeners on how to plant and care for them.
Q. Can I donate homemade salsas and jams I made with produce from my garden?
A. Under current food safety rules, we cannot accept foods processed at home. However, if you would like to share a recipe, give a cooking demonstration, or volunteer to process fruits and vegetables here in our on-site kitchen, we’d love to have your help! Please email email@example.com or call 221-4868 and ask for the Produce Manager.
Q. I’m worried about liability. What if somebody gets sick from donated food?
A. Your donation is protected from liability by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. If you have a reason to question the food safety of an item, it should not be donated.
Q. Growing season is over; can I still help?
A. Yes! Cash donations to support the Fresh Food on the Table Program are always welcome. And your time and talents are valuable donations as well. Become a Good Cheer volunteer today! Contact Carol Squire at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donating Garden Produce
Pick food at its prime. Vegetables should be harvested early in the day before it gets warm. Each item should be visually inspected for bruising, insect damage, and ripeness. Please pick your zucchini at a reasonable size, before they grow into whales, and harvest greens before they bolt.
Follow safe harvesting practices.
- Wash your hands, and clean all harvesting tools and containers with soap & warm water before you harvest.
- Collect and transport produce in clean, food-safe containers.
- If you use pesticide or herbicide in or around your garden, always read and follow label recommendations.
Dry and clean but unwashed whenever possible. Remove root matter and dirty outer leaves. If needed, gently shake greens upside down to dislodge remaining debris. Muddy root vegetables may need to be sprayed off and air-dried. Don’t wash berries or leafy greens.
Donate freshly-picked produce between 9:00am and 4:00pm Monday – Saturday. Please plan ahead and deliver produce as soon as possible on the same day you pick it. This helps retain the nutritional value and freshness of your harvest.
Leave yourself plenty of time to make a donation. You can help speed things along by delivering produce in bags or boxes that you do not need us to empty and return to you. If needed, we will provide you with a box.
Would you eat it? Be sure to donate only quality produce and compost any that isn’t fresh. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “would I eat this?” Anything that is wilted, overripe, cut or broken open, infested with insects, or showing signs of decay should not be donated.
Call ahead. If you have a large amount (more than 50 lbs) of produce to donate, let us know ahead of time what you’re bringing and when you plan to deliver. Call the food bank at 221-4868 and ask for our Produce Manager.
Are you planting a row for the food bank? Let us know! If you plan to grow a crop specifically for donation to Good Cheer, we would love to know what you’re growing, how much, and your estimated harvest date. Email email@example.com, or call 221-4868 and ask for the Produce Manager.
Donating Tree Fruits
No groundfall. For food safety reasons, we cannot accept tree fruits gathered from the ground. (No, not even if you saw it fall. Sorry, no exceptions!)
Separate varieties. Please keep different fruits (apples vs pears) and varieties (fuji vs granny smith) separate. If you know the variety name, write it directly onto donation boxes. For unknown varieties, we’d love any info you can share with us. Does it store well? Make great pies? How much ripening time is needed?
Sort as you go. Check for pests and remove damaged fruits from the donation pile.
Handle fruits gently. Minimize handling by harvesting directly into sturdy, stackable boxes you will deliver fruit in. Whenever possible, move fruit gently one at a time rather than dumping from one box or container to another.
Keep stems attached to the fruit for better storage.
Box (don’t bag) fruit. Fruits in paper or plastic bags are susceptible to damage during handling. Please help us maintain the best quality possible and deliver fruit in sturdy, stackable boxes instead. We’d be happy to supply you with a box, if needed.
|Fruit||Harvesting & Handling|
|Apple||Pick when ripe (dark seeds, juicy flesh, fruit starts to fall from tree.) Inspect carefully for apple maggot.|
|Asian Pear||Pick ripe, but not overripe. Inspect carefully for apple maggot.|
|Peach||Harvest just before fully ripe, when flavor is full but fruit is still very slightly firm (not hard)|
|Pear||For best flavor, do not let pears ripen on the tree. Pick fruits mature but unripe & deliver immediately. Pears ripen best in cold storage, but different varieties have different ripening times.|
|Plum||Please pick 2-3 days before full ripeness! Plums ripen very quickly off the tree and it often takes us a few days to get them all distributed to clients.|
|Quince||Ripe quince will still be hard, but turning yellow and aromatic. Harvest before brown spotting or areas of softening occur.|
Quick Reference Harvest & Delivery Guide
|Produce Item||Handling Instructions|
|Roots||Spray or rinse dirt from root, keeping greens dry if possible. Air dry in a cool place.|
|Berries||Do not wash. Harvest and deliver in a low, flat box, pint size berry cartons, or quart-size ziplock bags.|
|Greens & herbs||Harvest in cool, dry weather. Remove root matter and dirty outer leaves. Keep dry and do not wash. Deliver in plastic bags or waxed produce boxes.|
|Onions, leeks, & garlic||Do not wash. Trim roots and brush off dirt.|
|Soft fruits (tomato, grape, kiwi, plum)||Harvest almost ripe, flavorful but still slightly firm. Pick on a dry day. Do not wash or refrigerate. Deliver in flat boxes (not bags).|
|Tree fruits||No groundfall. Separate by variety. Deliver in sturdy, stackable boxes. Do not wash.|
|Winter squash||Leave stems attached for better storage. Wipe off dirt or mud with a damp rag. Allow winter squash to “cure” in a warm, sunny place for 2-3 days after harvest.|
|Zucchini / summer squash||Harvest small to medium size whenever possible. If needed, wipe away dirt or mud with a dry cloth. Do not wash or refrigerate.|