Donate Food to People

Donating unused food to other people can help Vermonters achieve a variety of goals - ideally, statewide hunger can be reduced, businesses can save money, and greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced, simply by donating food to other people rather than throwing it in our trash cans. Of course, not all unused food is appropriate for human consumption. When considering donating food to people, ensure that:

  • Food is safe and nutritious. If you wouldn’t eat it yourself, donating it to other people is probably not the best food waste solution. Consider donating it for animal consumption, composting, or other energy reclamation methods such as anaerobic digestors or biofuel creation. 
  • Food has been prepared and stored safely. Follow all food-safety practices for handling, preparing, cooking, and storing. 
  • You are familair with laws that protect businesses who donate food. Review the Good Samritan Food Donation Act and tax benefits that go along with food donation. 

Vermont Resources: 

  • Food Donation in Vermont [ANR] – Explanation of food waste, food recovery hierarchy, the food recovery challenge, explains what kind of food can be donated, links to laws and regulations. \
  • Vermont Food Bank – General donation page, doesn’t seem to be a food-donation specific page.
  • Committee on Temporary Shelter [COTS]

Gleaning: 

  • Vermont Gleaning Collective
  • Salvation Farms  
  • Community Harvest VT
  • VT Foodbank – Largest gleaning organization in the state 

National Resources: 

  • Sustainable Management of Food: Reducing Food Waste by Feeding Hungry People [EPA
  • AmpleHarvest.org : Connects gardeners to local food pantries so that they can donate excess food rather than composting it or throwing it away.
  • Food Donation in Vermont [ANR] – Explanation of food waste, food recovery hierarchy, the food recovery challenge, explains what kind of food can be donated, links to laws and regulations. 
  • Agency Locator – Find a Foodbank network partner.  
  • FoodPantries.org – Search for food pantries in your area