What's in a Red Bag

All items should come INDIVIDUALLY packaged.

  • Individual Cup of Noodle (water is only added ingredient)
  • Individual Mac & Cheese (water is only added ingredient)
  • Packets of trail mix
  • Packs of cheese or peanut butter crackers
  • Fruit cups 
  • Granola bars or Clif bars
  • Breakfast bars or fruit bars
  • Individual cups or packets of instant oatmeal
  • 100% juice boxes or Capri Sun pouches
  • Shelf stable milk cartons (regular, vanilla, or chocolate)
  • Gallon-sized Ziploc bags


  • Bags of Rice or Beans (1-2 lb bags)
  • Dry Pasta
  • Dry Cereal (full size box)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Cans of black beans, corn, tomato sauce or fruit
  • Chicken or tuna pouches
  • Instant milk packets (each makes one quart) ​

*Grocery store gift cards are also accepted.


Do I have to buy everything on the list?

No. Please fill the Red Bag with any items listed but you do not need to buy everything on the list. We sort all the collected food and fill ziploc bags with a sampling of the items for the students to quickly and easily grab to take home every weekend.


What food items are most needed?

The first few things the kids always ask for are Cup 'O Noodles, Clif Bars and Chocolate Milk. You can also check our Fcebook page before each collection. If our pantries have special requests, we'll post it there.


Is there anything I cannot donate?

If it is sugary (like candy, gum, baking mixes and cookies), home cooked in your kitchen, already opened, expired or not on the Red Bag grocery list, then we cannot accept it.  The tag that is attached to your bag has a complete list of items that we are collecting or you can print the latest list below. And we cannot accept any toiletries at this time. To donate toiletries, please contact your local school directly.


Have more questions?  Visit our FAQ page for more information.

Click here for a printable copy of the grocery list.
2019-grocery list.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [245.4 KB]

Food For Neighbors has created an Amazon Wish List to make shopping even easier for our next Red Bag collection. Check it out and get your shopping done early.

Upcoming Events

The next bag collection will be Saturday, Oct 26th.

Please leave your filled red bag by your front door

no later than 8:30am.

 Upcoming Red Bag dates, here.

Add dates to your calendar here.

If you forget to put out your bag, click HERE.

Need the list of the food we collect?

Our program is growing and we need your help.

Would you like a Red Bag?

Making a Difference

For the September 2019 collection, we received over

7,100 pounds of food

from over 600 participating households.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support FFN every time you shop.  Click HERE to get started.

Get Social

Connect with us on Facebook to learn about upcoming projects and volunteer opportunities, and see photos of our FFN volunteers in action.

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Food For Neighbors is located in Herndon, VA, and proudly serves local middle and high school students in Fairfax County and Loudoun County.

© Food For Neighbors®

Food for Neighbors® is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public charity.