In the spirit of giving back to the community, many food companies have established ongoing programs for donating food and money to nonprofit organizations in their local area. Liability is a common concern for some companies when considering food donations. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed Good Samaritan laws that offer donors some protection from liability.
After visiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a Target (target.com) store team leader was so impressed that he changed the way his store handled food products with cosmetic imperfections. Instead of getting rid of them, he and his staff collected them and donated them to the Food Depository. Another Target store in the area began doing the same, and the program expanded. On a national level, Target established a policy that its stores would donate products to food banks in their area.
Goodness Greeness (goodnessgreeness.com), an organic produce distributor in Chicago, donates its excess fruits and vegetables to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for distribution to local food pantries and residents of low-income neighborhoods. Goodness Greeness and the Food Depository work closely together to ensure that the excess produce is still fresh when delivered. The Food Depository picks up and stores the produce and delivers part to food pantries and part to the "Producemobile," which it uses to deliver produce to low-income neighborhoods.
Tyson Foods and Delaware North
The Food Bank of Western New York, which is located in Buffalo, was the recipient in 2011 of 29,000 lbs. of boneless chicken donated by Tyson Foods (Tyson.com) and Delaware North (delawarenorth.com), a food service company. Since poultry is rich in nutrients, it is helpful to those who need extra protein — the elderly and young children, for example. The Food Bank of Western New York serves four counties, providing food to about 100,000 people per year. Both Tyson Foods and Delaware North have been active in helping to fight hunger in America and to promote awareness of it.
Giant Food Stores (giantfood.com) and Martin’s Food Markets (martinsfood.com) contributed a combination of food products and cash to charities in states where their supermarkets are located. The donations, which totaled $19.1 million for 2010, were made to local charities in keeping with the Giant/Martin giving theme of “Living Here, Giving Here.” Children’s Miracle Network, United Way and hunger relief organizations were among the recipients of the companies’ generous donations.
- Environmental Protection Agency: Donating Surplus Food to the Needy
- Greater Chicago Food Depository: Case Studies and Testimonials - Target
- Greater Chicago Food Depository: Case Studies and Testimonials - Goodness Greeness
- Delaware North: Tyson Foods and Delaware North Companies Team Up to Fight Hunger in Buffalo
- Journal News: Food Companies Donate to Charity
Mary Burgess has over 30 years experience as a writer. She wrote manuals and online help for software products and edited educational documents for online courses offered by a nonprofit organization. Burgess has a Bachelor of Science in Latin from the University of Memphis.