Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

If you can’t bear to look at any remaining Thanksgiving leftovers, there’s a law you should know.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

By now, you’re thinking of throwing out every scrap of Thanksgiving dinner that you still have.  You are not alone.  According to the Public Health Law Center, every year, over 100 billion pounds of food are thrown away even though forty-nine million people are food insecure and could sure use donated food.  Don’t worry—this is the legal segment, not the make you feel bad segment.

The reason more leftovers aren’t donated, according to a survey by America’s Second Harvest, is that 80 percent of respondents said they were worried about getting sued over food-related injuries or illnesses.  Well, worry not!  The law’s here!  In addition to state law protections, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act says that if someone is sickened or injured by donated food, the person who donated it is protected from liability except in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.  So you don’t have to eat or cook what’s in your pantry—find a center and donate it.

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