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Food For Thought. Reducing Waste By Helping Food Vendors Become Food Donors. Kim Fenton DPPEACRA 2001. If We Can Figure Out How to Recycle Aluminum, What’s So Hard About Broccoli?. The Scope of the Problem. In 2000, more than 100 billion pounds of good food went to landfill in the US

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Food For Thought

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Food for thought

Food ForThought

Reducing Waste By Helping Food Vendors Become Food Donors

Kim Fenton DPPEACRA 2001

If we can figure out how to recycle aluminum what s so hard about broccoli

If We Can Figure Out How to Recycle Aluminum, What’s So Hard About Broccoli?

The scope of the problem

The Scope of the Problem

  • In 2000, more than 100 billion pounds of good food went to landfill in the US

  • NC estimates 500,000 tons from commercial sources

  • Interfaith Food Shuttle in Raleigh collected 1300 tons of food in 2000

  • This represents only 5% of available food in the area

Despite economic boom

Despite Economic Boom…

  • Poverty has failed to decline

  • The average income of the poorest fifth of American families dropped

  • The number of children lacking basic nutrition rose

  • 31 million people are hungry or at risk of hunger

Who produces food waste

Who Produces Food Waste?

Food rescue programs

Food Rescue Programs

  • Also called Prepared and Perishable Food Programs

  • Food rescue is the sensible act of collecting surplus, un-served perishable food that would otherwise be tossed into dumpsters and distributing it to those who need it

How do they work

How Do They Work?

  • Provide free pick-up from donors on a daily, weekly, or “on call’ basis

  • Provide trained staff to inspect, handle, and safely transport food to recipients

  • Provide a list of “acceptable foods” and outline best method for preparing food for collection

  • Provide liability protection to donor

What kinds of food can be donated

What Kinds of Food Can Be Donated?

  • Food that is wholesome and fit for human consumption

  • Food within it’s expiration date

  • Food that has been refrigerated or frozen within two hours of preparation

  • Food that has been kept at a safe temperature (below 40 or above 140)

What is not accepted

What Is Not Accepted

  • Food that has been served or “set out”

  • Spoilage (past expiration date)

  • Table scraps

  • Food preparation waste

  • Leftovers that cannot be served again

  • Food that may be deemed unsafe because of age, appearance, or unknown handling

Challenges to overcome

Challenges to Overcome

  • Apathy

  • Lack of Awareness

  • Fear

Overcoming challenges

Overcoming Challenges!

Food Donation is ..

  • Good for Business

  • Has Tax Benefits

  • Boost Employee Morale

  • Uncovers Wasteful Practices

  • Reduces Waste Disposal Costs

  • Food Donors Are Protected from Liability

Good for business

Good For Business

  • Consumers have a higher perception of businesses with ties to charities and are more likely to patronize them

Tax benefits

Tax Benefits

  • Donations to organizations classified as 501 (c) (3) by the IRS including a portion of the value of prepared food, may be tax deductible

Boost employee morale

Boost Employee Morale

  • Team-building occurs when staff works together to find ways to donate, prepare food for transport, or actually serve food to the hungry

Helps uncover waste

Helps Uncover Waste

  • Food vendors who decide to participate in food recovery programs find out how much waste actually occurs in their day-to-day operations

Reduces disposal costs

Reduces Disposal Costs

  • By participating in a food donation program, vendors can reduce the size of their dumpsters and the frequency of pickups

  • Can eliminate “heavy bin” surcharges

Donors are protected

Donors Are Protected

  • Good Samaritan Laws have been enacted in all 50 states.

  • Provide protection from civil and criminal liability except injury caused by gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of the donor

  • Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, strengthens state laws by providing national liability protection for donors

Hold harmless and indemnity agreement

Hold Harmless and Indemnity Agreement


To the extent permitted by law, the undersigned agrees to protect, indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the ___________ and their respective employees, agents, and members against all claims or damages to persons or property, government charges or fines and costs arising out of or connected with the removal of food items donated etc.

Action steps

Action Steps

  • Identify food-generating businesses and existing and planned rescue programs in your area.

  • Familiarize yourself with issues and concerns faced by these businesses such as liability, disposal costs, and tax benefits

  • Use creative ways to disseminate food rescue information to potential donors (ie. Through health inspectors)

Action steps continued

Action Steps Continued

  • Work with donor to establish an appropriate program and pickup schedule

  • Market your local food bank and food rescue programs as part of your recycling education campaign

  • Create an awards program to recognize businesses that donate food

  • Help Donors Promote Their Programs

Food rescue in nc

Food Rescue in NC

  • Asheville – Manna Food Bank (828) 299-3663

  • Charlotte – Community Food Rescue (704) 342-3663

  • Charlotte – Second Harvest of Metrolina (704) 376-1785

  • Elizabeth City – Food Bank of Abermarle (252) 335-4035

  • Fayetteville – Second Harvest of SE NC (910) 485-8809

  • Raleigh – Food Bank of NC (919) 875-0707

  • Raleigh – Interfaith Food Shuttle (919) 250-0043

  • Winston-Salem – Second Harvest (336) 784-5770

Food rescue in sc

Food Rescue in SC

  • Charleston – Lowcountry Food Bank (843) 747-8146

  • Columbia – Harvest Hope Food Bank (803) 254-4432

  • Mauldin – Community Food Bank (864) 675-0350

  • N. Myrtle Beach – Food Source Network (843) 450-0284

A win win win solution

A Win-Win-Win Solution




For more information


  • Contact your local hunger program

  • Visit

  • Visit or call us at (800) 763-0136 or (919) 715-6507

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