The Giving Cupboard does not practice or permit any unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), age, religion, disability, income level, marital or military status, reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, or based on any individual’s status in any group or class protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.


The Giving Cupboard is dedicated to providing the best product possible to you. Volunteers pre-sort all of the food products at the Giving Cupboard, but in spite of their best efforts, you may receive questionable items. Therefore, being informed about food product safety is very important. Caution: You are responsible for all the food you consume.

NOTE: A date on a canned or boxed item does not mean the food is expired.

You may see a variety of different types of dates on a can, box, or other food container.

  • “Sell by” is the last day a store can sell the item. Items such as milk, yogurt, and other dairy usually display a “sell by” date.
  • Cereals, canned items, and rice typically display a “best if used by” date. This is an approximate date to use the food for best quality. It’s not a purchase or safety date.
  • Use by” date refers to the last date the item is recommended by the manufacturer to be used by for peak quality. This date is determined by the manufacturer or the product, and items are typically still safe, wholesome, and good quality after this date if properly handled and stored.
  • “Closed or coded dates” are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer. Many foods are typically still safe to eat months or even years after these coded dates. For more details on how long specific food types may last, please refer to the Idaho Food Bank Product and Shelf Life Guidelines.

These guidelines apply to the food received by the Giving Cupboard directly from local food drives and other sources. Remember that spoilage can occur over time, even if a can is not dented. Use common sense. When in doubt, throw it out!

The Giving Cupboard does not accept or distribute:

  • cans that have swollen or bulged ends
  • cans that have dented rims or side seams
  • cans that have sharp creases anywhere, especially side or end seams
  • cans with severe damage
  • cans that display rust or show signs of leaking
  • cans that have obvious leaks or are light in weight
  • cans without labels
  • containers that have been opened
  • containers with loose or missing lids
  • home cooked or home canned food items (we do not know how the food was prepared and/or stored)
  • pet foods