Donate surplus food to local organizations

Approximately 40% of food in the U.S. is wasted. Organic materials, including food scraps, make up about 37% of the materials sent to local landfills. Much of this wasted food could be put to good use — including feeding people!

  1. Make sure foods are maintained at safe temperatures and are properly labeled.

    You can donate:

    • Pre-packaged foods that are non-perishable and fresh.
    • Whole fruits and vegetables that have not been cut.
    • Foods that require time/temperature control for safety (such as cut fruit, hot meals, dairy products, eggs, meat, etc.) may be donated if both the donor and recipient are food permitted facilities and the food has been properly handled at an appropriate temperature. See Food Donation Guidelinesopen_in_new for more details.

  2. Call and schedule a donation with a local organization such as:

    You may use Aunt Berthaopen_in_new to find a food pantry near you that accepts donations.

  3. Keep track of donations by weighing and recording any donated foods for your tax records.

Benefits of donating food

  • Help end hunger: One in six people in Central Texas struggle to have enough food to eat and almost 25% of children in Travis County lack consistent access to food.
  • Conserve valuable resources: Wasted food represents 4% of U.S. oil consumption and requires 25% of our fresh water supply to grow.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions: Uneaten food in landfills accounts for 23% of the nation’s output of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
  • Save money: Businesses can receive tax incentivesopen_in_new for food donations while simultaneously lowering their disposal costs. And for businesses in Austin, food donation counts towards compliance with the Universal Recycling Ordinanceopen_in_new.

Liability

The Good Samaritan Food Donation Actopen_in_new encourages companies and organizations to donate healthy food that would otherwise go to waste by protecting them from criminal and civil liability.

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