Protecting Our Food Partners

Millions of pounds of food and groceries go to waste each year. To encourage companies and organizations to donate healthy food that would otherwise go to waste, they are protected from criminal and civil liability under the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

On October 1, 1996, President Clinton signed this act to encourage donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to  individuals in need. This law:

  * Protects you from liability when you donate to a non-profit organization;

  * Protects you from civil and criminal liability should the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the recipient;

  * Standardizes donor liability exposure. You or your legal counsel do not need to investigate liability laws in 50 states; and

  * Sets a floor of "gross negligence" or intentional misconduct for persons who donate grocery products. According to the new law, gross negligence is defined as "voluntary and conscious conduct by a person with knowledge (at the time of conduct) that the conductis likely to be harmful to the health or well-being of another person."

Tax Information
If you believe your donation is worth more than $500, you must submit an IRS Form 8283 with your tax filing. The IRS will also require a professional appraisal for these items. The cost of the appraisal may also be deductible as a miscellaneous expense.
For more information about tax deductibility visit