FAQ for 

Food Vendors

Food Recovery initiatives reduce waste, save money, protect the environment, and reduce hunger. Over 2 million Floridians face hunger daily. So while our neighbors are going hungry, about 40% of all food grown and produced is never eaten. It is often thrown into a landfill, contributing to carbon dioxide and methane gas emissions. Not to mention, the work that has gone into growing, preparing and serving food is wasted! Learn how vendors of various sizes are protected from liability, highlighted in the press, offered a tax deduction, and can access state-wide support to help feed their community. 

What is food recovery? 

Food recovery is the practice of collecting wholesome food that would otherwise go to  waste and donating it to local food distribution agencies to help feed those in need.  Food is collected from places such as farms, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and produce markets 

Why should my business participate? 

Your business can reduce monthly disposal fees, reduce taxes for qualifying contributions, alleviate community hunger, reduce carbon dioxide and methane gas emissions in the  landfill, support your local sustainability plans, and receive excellent public relations  opportunities.  

How do I donate excess food? 

Sign up with a food recovery organization such as FoodRecovery.org, Food Rescue USGood Neighbors, Feeding America Meal Connect or others here.

Also consider outreach to local organizations, including contacting your local  municipalities (waste/recycling division), city governments, food banks, food pantries,  after school programs and more. 

Is there a cost to donate? 

Possibly. Your team may need to spend extra time packaging excess food, buying smaller/larger food containers, weighing the food and possibly paying for transportation. However, many companies already have a scale and containers, so the extra time to weigh and track the food is minimal. Organizations such as FoodRecovery.org, Food Rescue US, and Good Neighbors do not charge donation fees. In fact, often they will help to transport your food to a local  nonprofit, saving you time, money, and hassle with logistics. 

Will this require extra time, labor and/or logistics? 

Possibly. Time might be spent packaging, labeling, and weighing food for donations. Your business may also need to purchase food containers. However, food rescue nonprofits  (listed above) can connect you with a local donor, support the logistics, and transport the  food. 

Who transports the food from my business to the nonprofit? 

Agencies like FoodRecovery.org, Food Rescue US and others have volunteer drivers or grant funding to pay for drivers to deliver your food. 

Door Dash’s Project Dash offers support to deliver food to homebound community members for free (within a 10-mile radius with food that can fit into a car). 

If your business has the capacity to transport the food safely, you can bring the food  directly to the nonprofit. 

Are vendors protected when donating excess food? 

Yes. Numerous liability protections exist for food donors, especially the Bill Emerson  Good Samaritan Food Donation Act 1996. The Bill Emerson Act “expressly covers  donations by restaurants, retail grocers and manufacturers. Donations by a food service  company also would be covered under the broad definition of, ‘person’ which includes  corporations, partnerships organizations and associations.” 

Additional Statutes: