When you donate to Good Cheer, you help create a hunger-free community.
Click on one of the links on the right to make a donation online, or, if you prefer, you can mail a check to:
PO Box 144
Langley, WA 98260
You can make a safe, secure, tax-deductible online donation either as a one-time payment, or a monthly donation. You can also remember Good Cheer in your will and estate planning. See our Planned Giving page for more details.
Good Cheer is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit. Our nonprofit tax ID number is: 23-7047914
Thank you for your financial support!
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Food donations are accepted from 10 AM to 3 PM at the food bank. Our food donation wish list can be found here.
For food safety reasons, please do not leave food donations when we are closed; you’ll only feed the squirrels. If you are wanting to donate produce from you garden or fruit from trees on your property, please review the FAQs and Produce Donation Guidelines below.
Donate good condition items for our thrift stores.
The Good Cheer Donation Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 2 PM. If you have questions about what we are not accepting on any given day, please call and ask: 360-221-6494. Please, DO NOT bring anything broken or that you wouldn’t buy in the store. All donations will be evaluated before we take them.
Shop Good Cheer Thrift Stores.
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 ensure no one goes hungry on South Whidbey.
Q. When should I drop off my donation?
A. You can drop off donations Monday – Friday between 10:00 AM and 3:30 PM. The food bank is currently closed Saturday & Sunday. Please do not leave donations outside when we are closed; you’ll only be feeding the squirrels.
Q. Can I donate homemade salsas and jams I made in my home kitchen?
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 protected] or call 221-4868 and ask for the Produce Manager.
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. 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 extra plant starts. Do you want them?
A. Yes! Starts are very popular with clients and volunteers alike. Please email [email protected] 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. 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 are always welcome. And your time and talents are valuable donations as well. Become a Good Cheer volunteer today! Contact Carol Squire at [email protected]
Produce Donation Guidelines
Please 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.
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. Anything that is wilted, overripe, cut or broken open, infested with insects, or showing signs of decay should not be donated. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “would I eat this?” Please pick your zucchini at a reasonable size, before they grow into whales. Harvest greens before they bolt.
Donate produce items that are dry and clean but unwashed whenever possible.
Please do not wash berries or leafy greens. Wet produce does not last as long as dry produce. 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.
Donate as soon as possible after harvesting.
This helps retain the nutritional value and freshness of your harvest. You can speed up dropping off you donation by delivering it in bags or boxes that you do not need us to empty and return to you. We can provide boxes if you need.
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 protected], 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.|