A Quick Guide for Donating Food

by Andrew Hoeft | May 26, 2017 12:00:00 AM

Did you know that we waste over 70 billion pounds of food in America every year? That’s a LOT of food. Food which could otherwise be consumed and instead is being sent straight to landfills. Supermarkets buy so much food to allow for variety among consumers that a large portion of it goes completely to waste.

Giving away food items that are about to expire rather than sending them to the landfill is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of food waste your store generates. It provides those less fortunate with opportunities to eat and reduces the contribution to the overall pollution levels.
Some examples of items that are commonly donated to food shelves are products like:

  • Cereal/Oats
  • Bread/Whole grains
  • Rice/Beans
  • Nuts
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Pasta
  • Canned goods
Produce is the hardest type of food to manage, but can still be accounted for and sold before expiration to reduce waste. These items are all donatable to charitable organizations when done correctly. Leftovers and surplus from restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, and caterers can also be donated. 
Food donation is tax deductible which will benefit your business and the community. You are also protected by laws that keep you from assuming responsibility, should one of the products that you donate cause some kind of harm to someone. Bills that provide such protections were put in place specifically to encourage retailers and restaurant owners to donate food to churches, social service businesses and more. The various protections and enhanced tax credits allocated for food donations allow most retailers and owners to deduct nearly 15% of their yearly income. 
Another great option for donating produce is to pursue places like animal shelters, humane societies, or zoos. There are even animal specific places, like bunny shelters, that will take any and all fresh greens you have. If you can’t find a place that feeds your fellow humans in need, try donating to a place that helps take care of the many different animals we need to keep fed at our zoos and shelters.
With technologies like Date Check Pro—a system for preventing food expiration—we can achieve the seemingly insurmountable goal of reducing wasted food to minuscule levels. Date Check Pro has started Stopwastetogether.com, which provides an outline for reducing food waste by introducing things like:

  • Tamper Proof Coupons
  • Aisle Signage
  • Online promotion
Retailers should join these efforts and track their “green” impact on a store to store basis. 
It might take a lot of effort by everyone involved, but together we as humans can band together to put an end to wasted food. There is no reason to waste perfectly edible food, especially when it only ends up in our landfills. Over 40% of food produced in America goes uneaten each year—together we can work to bring that number as close to zero as possible.
There are many ways to help reduce global food waste. Let’s start by donating unused and edible foods, instead of having it going to waste. Retailers can figure out how to donate almost every type of food item with programs like www.stopwastetogether.com.
You can get our ebook right here if you want to learn more about the laws affecting food donation and the benefits that you will receive by participating in this cause.
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