Why Donate Food?
There are hundreds of thousans of our Vermont neighbors - including children, seniors and working families - who are unable to put enough food on the table. Visits to their local food shelves help with this shortfall. Each year the Vermont Foodbank and their network of partners throughout the state serve as many as 153,000 Vermonters in need of emergency food assistance.
If food is too far gone to donate to the charitable food system, consider donating to a local farm for animal feed.
Donating Food for People
In Vermont ¼ of food end up in our landfills. At the same time, over 70,500 experience hunger at some point. Much of the food ending up in our landfills is edible, but improperly disposed of due to lack of resources or knowledge. By instead donating this perfectly good food to hungry people, we can help decrease hunger, increase food security, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions from both landfills and the production of more food. Donating food to hungry people is the second tier of Vermont’s Food Recovery hierarchy, and preferred over any other method that reducing wasted food at the source.
Federal Laws Regarding Food Donation for Human Consumption
- Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic Fact Sheet: Liability Protection
- Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic Fact Sheet: Tax Incentives
- Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic Fact Sheet: Date Labeling
Vermont Laws Regarding Food Donation for Human Consumption
- VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 12 § 5762 (1983): Liability for canned or perishable foods or farm products distributed free of charge
- VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 12 § 5793 (1997): Liability limited
- Legal Guide to Food Recovery
Where Can I Find Somewhere to Donate My Food?
Donating Food for Animals
Check out our page on donating leftover food to animals for more information.
Why Compost Food?
Over course, not all leftover food is appropriate for human or animal consumption. Whether you are a restaurant, a food processor, a hospital, a ski resort or a school, composting your food scraps is an easy and inexpensive way for your business or institution to go green! In this video, see what business owners and employees have to say about separating food scraps in their businesses.
Composting doesn’t have to be complicated! This manual breaks down steps that food service employees can use to help reduce food waste and make composting part of their daily routine.