The St. Louis Area Foodbank’s Most Interesting Food Donations Wall of Fame / Photo by Bethany Prange
Remember the Swedish Chef from the Muppets?
Apparently that guy had his own cereal in the 1980s.
It was called Croonchy Stars. The bright orange box says funny stuff like “it’s cinnamonnamony” and “no artificial colors; no doorknobs.”
Awesome is the only word for it.
So how do we Foodbankers know so much about this 1980s cereal, you ask?
Well, we are the proud owners of our very own 1989 box of Croonchy Stars.
The Croonchy Stars sits on our Most Interesting Food Donations Wall of Fame. The Stars made the wall not just because of the Swedish Chef’s cool factor, but also because we got that 1989 box of cereal from a food drive in 2011 – a wee bit past when it would be safe to eat it.
Trish Jenner, one of our volunteer coordinators here at the St. Louis Area Foodbank, has been collecting a few of the most unique – and oldest – items donated in food drives.
Now, do not get us wrong. We are grateful for every single item donated to our families in need. Foodbank staff and volunteers work hard every day to make sure that the donated food we receive is sorted and repackaged.
Every piece of food that meets food safety guidelines – and most of our donations do – gets eaten by someone who needs it.
However, once in awhile, we stumble across a food drive item that has been in the back of someone’s pantry a wee bit too long. For example, the Croonchy Stars share space on the Wall of Fame with a can of Campbell’s Creamy Spinach Soup from 1988.
While that can of soup was also a recent donation, we still appreciate the effort and the generosity of the donor. We realize that may have been all they had to give.
So why, then, do we keep our Wall of Fame findings?
Well, first, because they are fascinating. The Green Giant Kidney Beans and Freshlike Corn cans from the mid-1990s look almost as new as if you’d bought them yesterday!
And second, because humor is good for the soul. Take the can marked simply, “chicken” from 1995. It’s an entire, one-pound, ready-to-eat, boneless chicken in a can.
So. Many. Questions.
Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator for the St. Louis Area Foodbank