Piles of out-of-date food donated to MK Food Bank are going to Hula animal sanctuary as fodder for pigs and goats.
But the animal rescue centre’s cupboards have become so bulging with human edibles that they can’t take any more.
Now the food bank is urging people to check the ‘best before’ dates on items before they donate them.
“It’s quite a problem,” said the charity’s project manager John Marshall, who believes most of the old stock is donated in error by well-meaning people.
The worst time of year for outdated donations is harvest festival time, when parents are asked to send their children to school with offerings that end up at MK Food Bank.
“We’ve had tins of food donated to us that are 10 years old!” said John.
Other frequent outdated items include biscuits and long life milk, he said.
Though best before dates are only guidelines, the food bank is not legally allowed to pass it on to needy families.
They cannot even give it to pig farmers because it will end up in the human food chain.
“No animals at HULA are eaten, so it’s ideal and it saves us throwing food away ,which we hate to do, said John.
“But I think we’ve overloaded Hula a bit, as they don’t have room for any more at the moment.”
A spokesman for Aspley guise-based Hula said much of the food bank food was used for its resident pigs, Flossie and Smudge.
Some goes to the goats, while the rescued geese and chickens love crumbled up out of date biscuits. None is used for Hula’s dogs and cats, for which donations of “proper” pet food are always welcome, said the spokesman.