Do the Can-Can for St. Louis Area Foodbank

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It's Cinco de Mayo, and what better way to celebrate than with free nachos?

Nachos rule.

Bring a nonperishable food item to any St. Louis-area Qdoba on May 5. They'll donate the food to the St. Louis Area Foodbank, and you'll get a coupon for a free order of queso dip and chips.

We know what you're thinking: What might be an appropriate trade for spicy cheese dip, ideally one that keeps in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo?

Queso-for-Queso Velveeta plus Rotel equals queso dip. Quit being a snob; Velveeta's often on food pantry wish lists. The dip's an inexpensive source of shelf-stable protein with a dose of veggies. And it's as good as Qdoba's.

Mexicorn Canned vegetables are always high on the wish lists. That doesn't mean they have to be boring. Corn! Peppers! Onions! Seasoning! It's fiesta time!

Beans, beans, and more beans Refried. Black. Pinto. Canned. Dried. Souped. Pre-made bean-centric meals. Protein. Fiber. Tasty. You can donate a case to equal the price of fast-service DIY nachos.

Rice It's the bean's best amigo, and available in almost as many forms: brown, white, instant, festive, cheesy, yellow, and loaded with freeze-dried seafood.

134 ounces of salsa in plastic jugs Tangy vegetables without the breakable containers.

In all seriousness, food banks have been struggling. Silly as these suggestions may be, they're a start. Food banks need nonperishables that aren't packaged in glass and haven't been opened. Sources of protein and vegetables are always needed. Don't just donate the crap that's been sitting in your cabinets that you won't eat. No one wants your three-year-old can of pumpkin-pie filling any more than you do. Make sure what you're donating hasn't expired and is something you'd be willing to eat.

In addition to Qdoba's Cans for Queso, Saturday is the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Leave a bag of nonperishable food items by your mailbox, and your mail carrier will deliver it to the St. Louis Area Foodbank. You won't get free queso, but you might get some good karma (in your mailbox).

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