Monday, September 25, 2023

Grocery Stores That Donate Food

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Do Supermarkets Throw Away Food

Giving Matters: Community members in Arlington continue to donate food

Yes grocery stores throw-away billions of pounds of food each and every year. While some of it could be given to food banks, food safety laws actually prevent much of it from being donated.

In the 20+ years I worked for Whole Foods Market, many spent in middle or upper management positions, I can tell you that the majority of expired food and damaged packaged goods do indeed get thrown away.

Now, I dont say that to make anyone mad or make it seem like the grocery industry is hiding a secret.

And I also dont want you to think that all grocery stores are the same and that nothing gets donated. Theres actually quite a bit of food that gets donated.

But theres a lot that just ends up in the landfill.

A recent report by Harvard Law School looked at the laws on the books in all 50 states as far as food safety regulations regarding food donation.

Their report concluded that:

  • Guidance regarding food safety for food donations vary widely from state to state
  • Many states have no regulations or guidance
  • 12 states have laws or regulations pertaining to food safety for food donations
  • 14 states have issued public statements regarding food safety and donations

In short, in terms of legislators encouraging, supporting, and protecting retailers in donating more of whats currently being thrown away, we have a long way to go.

RT @LizLovesFarms: Check out the path that unsold food from grocery stores can take #foodwaste


How To Not Waste Your Perishable Food:

If some of your food is perishable and not fit for immediate donation, there are still options to keep it from going to waste: eat it or freeze it. Any items that need to be kept cold should be frozen and then placed in coolers right before the start of the move.

Try to use any food that you can before you leave by planning meals around the perishable food you have left in your pantry. Use sealable bags to store food items that shouldnt be left out in the open.

Hold Your Own Grocery Store Food Drive

Grocery store food drives are a terrific way to spend the afternoon with your family, friends, or colleagues and a great way to collect a lot of food in a short amount of time! This is also an opportunity for students who need to log volunteer hours.

  • Ask the manager at your local grocery store if they’ll allow you to collect food donations outside their storefront on a Saturday or Sunday.
  • Notify AFAC of your food drive by emailing . If you need to track your volunteer hours for school, email .
  • Assemble your team of friends, family, or colleagues. Staff the food drive in shifts of 3 – 4 people for 1 – 2 hours each. Your team can pass out flyers that list the foods AFAC needs most. Flyer templates
  • Collect donations in an AFAC food drive box or a shopping cart – shopping carts allow you to easily transport food to your vehicle. Pass out flyers to shoppers as they enter the store. Let them know you’re collecting donations for the Arlington Food Assistance Center to feed Arlington families in need.
  • Deliver your food collection to AFAC during food drop-off hours.

    You May Like: Feeding Northeast Florida Food Bank

    Why Do Grocery Stores Order More Food Than They Can Sell

    Grocery stores do not over-order with the intent of throwing away products. With profit margins as low as 2%, they cant afford to do that. Instead, they try and balance having their shelves full and abundant while meeting and not exceeding set shrink targets that are often about 3% of the total.

    But the reason here might surprise you unless you work retail.

    In short, displays of food items sell much better when they look full. Now sometimes good merchandisers use dummy risers and other things to give the appearance of fullness without over-committing to too much product.

    But ultimately, if stores only had on display what they would actually sell, their sales would go down as many stores would look like a coastal store after a hurricane warning was announced. In other words, the shelves and displays might look kind of barren and empty.

    Psychologically we, as consumers, tend to respond poorly to that.

    Think back to when you were at a store and saw that they were almost sold out of an item and you mostly saw a big empty shelf. Did you buy that last one? If youre like most people, unless you were desperate for that 1 thing specifically, you probably didnt.

    So grocery stores, within reason, order to make the store look full and abundant.

    Then they balance that with not tying up too much cash in inventory that might sit there for months or spoil. Theres a fine art to merchandising a grocery store.

    Just click that link to read it on my site.

    Tyson Foods And Delaware North

    Donation of grocery items for food banks

    Back in 2011, the Food Bank in Western New York, found in Buffalo, received around 29,000 lbs. of boneless chicken from Tyson Foods, together with Delaware North. Ever since then, both have been some of the best companies that donate food to nonprofit organizations, which we should take as an example. Since poultry is generally rich in nutrients, it is perfect for those who need some extra protein, such as young children or the elderly. And if youre wondering, The Food Bank of Western New York helps four counties, offering food to an impressive number of 100,000 each year.

    Also Check: Second Harvest Food Bank Maryville Tn

    Do Supermarkets Donate To Food Banks

    Yes, supermarkets donate to food banks.

    More interestingly, some food banks and homeless shelters accept the donation of expired food items.

    However, these items have to be non-perishable.

    So that means your peanut butter, syrups and canned goods get accepted, but cooked grains, tomatoes and yogurt end up on the reject pile.

    Still, grocery stores are scared to donate food to avoid lawsuits thatll arise if someone should ever fall sick from their items.

    Though the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects grocery owners from situations like that, no one wants to take that risk.

    But from our research, here are some of the best and worst donation dedicated grocery stores:

    Did I Cover Everything You Wanted To Know About How Much Food Grocery Stores Throw Away

    In this article, we took an in-depth look into the world of grocery stores and what they do with out of date or damaged food items.

    We explored the truth about how much gets thrown away compared to donations or composting.

    Ultimately, we answered the question of how much do grocery stores throw away. Running a successful grocery store requires wearing a lot of hats. After all, you are balancing customer service, merchandising, employee relations, and trying to stay profitable so you can pay everyone.

    Learn more about grocery store profit margins, including why some grocery stores only earn 2% while others make 10% or more, in a recent article, where I explain it all.

    Just click that link to read it on my site.

    Recommended Reading: Atlanta Community Food Bank Atlanta Ga

    Theres No Excuse Not To Donate Food

    While supermarkets dispose of millions of tons of food each year, in 2017 the USDA estimated that 15 million American households had difficulty providing meals for all their members. In most cases, supermarket food waste is edible, tasty and nutritious. So why dont more supermarkets donate to food banks? Especially when Feed Hungry People is the second tier of EPAs Food Recovery Hierarchy?

    Food recovery hierarchy. Source:

    According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, 56% of large food service companies reported that concerns about liability kept them from donating food. But experts say they shouldnt be so worried. According to Nicole Civita, director of the Food Recovery Project, no public record exists of any retailer in the United States being sued because of harm related to donated food.

    If thats not enough reason to start donating, even better is the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act that protects companies from civil and criminal liability should a recipient get ill or hurt as a result of consumed donated food. Donors are culpable only in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

    Money Not Going As Far For Food Banks

    Local food bank gets big donation from Publix

    LANSING, Mich. -Every year 6 news takes $10 to the grocery store to show you just how valuable a money donation is to local food banks, versus actual donated items, but as 6 News has found out, inflation is deflating buying power.

    When we showed up, it was another super busy December day at the Greater Lansing Food Bank, filled with trying to feed thousands of needy Mid-Michiganders.

    Its always hard a hard task to do, but Kelly Miller, director of philanthropy with the food bank says, 2022 has been the toughest.

    It has been. Its the supply chain, its lower donations, but were purchasing more food than we ever have before and its costing us more, even at the food bank.

    A perfect example of how tough its been is that every year at WLNS-TV, weve taken $10 to a grocery store and tried to stretch it as far as possible, then compare what we got with what the Greater Lansing Food Bank can do with that same amount of money.

    Its always eye-popping, year after year to see the large disparity, but this holiday season, the shocking difference is when you compare what food bank officials can now get with $10 when compared to the recent past.

    Usually its this entire table, says Miller. And now its about a third and that is due to inflation.

    In addition, tall aisles designated for USDA food donations are mostly empty due to supply chain issues and its directly forcing the food bank to buy more food in 2022, in fact, thats up 56%.

    Recommended Reading: All Faiths Food Bank Sarasota Fl

    Everybody Wins When Stores Keep Food From Going To Waste

    When you walk into your local supermarket, you will find carefully stocked shelves and bins full of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and baked goods. But what happens to those items once their expiration date nears? Rather than throw perfectly good food away, retailers donate unsold food items to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and its network of partner agencies ensuring any surplus food goes to better use.

    When our organization committed to zero hunger and zero waste, we knew we needed help, said Amindra Wijay, food safety manager for Ralphs Grocery Company. Our food rescue partners at LA Regional Food Bank have done an amazing job helping us on this journey. A decentralized network of local organizations picking up from our store locations more often was exactly the assistance we needed.

    Through the Food Bank, hundreds of retailers including all Southern California locations of Albertsons and its Vons and Pavilions subsidiaries, as well as Ralphs and its Food 4 Less locations help provide food for 300,000 people each month.

    Find Food Recipient Organizations

    The following sites contain tools that allow users to search for food banks, pantries, soup kitchens and shelters that may be interested in accepting wholesome, excess food:

    • Feeding Americas Find Your Local Foodbank has a map of Feeding America member food banks. Some of these food banks might have a minimum donation size requirement. Feeding America also operates the Meal Connect app , which connects donors to local food banks.
    • Sustainable Americas Food Rescue Locator is a directory of organizations that rescue, glean, transport, prepare, and distribute food to the needy in their communities.
    • allows you to search food pantries by zip code and shows the search results on an interactive map.
    • Hunger Free America operates the USDAs National Hunger Clearinghouse, where people can seek food assistance.

    The following organizations are examples of food donation organizations that provide a mechanism for entities to donate wholesome, excess food to those in need:

    You May Like: How Do Food Banks Get Their Food

    Good Spread Peanut Butter

    This delicious peanut butter company is tackling Severe Acute Malnutrition, which kills more children than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Their solution? MANAits a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, made from milk and peanut butter, and fortified with vitamins to fight malnutrition. Once administered on a regular basis, 96% of children are cured in less than six weeks. For every jar you buy, the company sends a packet of MANA to a community in need.

    What Can You Do As A Consumer

    Food donations box stock photo. Image of service, assistance

    Food waste and surplus food happen and every stage of the food cycle, from farm to fork. It isnt just grocery stores. That said, grocery stores are doing a lot to not only reduce waste but feed communities in need. As consumers, we can support those efforts by using FoodHero as much as possible, supporting in-store initiatives to help local charities, and even supporting food banks directly through food or cash donations.

    You May Like: North Dallas Food Bank Donation

    Providing Safe And Nutritious Food

    Providing quality food to people experiencing hunger in our state is very important to us. To ensure that the food we provide is handled in a safe manner, we follow food safety guidelines from Feeding America, the USDA and others in the food industry. We work hard to ensure that all the food we receive is handled with care and to food safety guidelines. Key staff are trained in proper food safety procedures some of which include:

    • Ensuring food is transported at proper temperatures, inspected regularly
    • Check product dates on food items as well as examining product packing to ensure it meet standards
    • Inspecting perishable items for spoilage, mold, and contamination
    • Participating and communicating with our member partners about food product recalls
    • Following USDA, AIB, Feeding America, City of Albuquerque and other food safety handling guidelines.

    Food safety is a top priority to provide the highest quality food possible especially when so much of it is second or third market food items, or items nearing the end of their usefulness.

    Learn more about some our food sources below.

    Popular Bay Area Food Truck Momolicious Stolen

    He said about 11.7 billion pounds of food ends up in California landfills each year. Klug added by reducing waste, we prevent dangerous gases such as methane from forming.

    Pollution that contributes to climate change and also to the respiratory problems, the chronic health diseases, the asthma that we see so much of here in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valley, Klug told FOX40.

    Klug said the law will go into effect in 2022 but now is the time for city and county leaders to act.

    But especially given the current need, the fact that hunger has doubled in some California counties, tripled in some California counties, cities and counties can start planning now.

    Krick said this may help his organization help the growing number of people in need

    This would be greatly needed because we know this isnt going to be a recovery thats gonna all of a sudden happen tomorrow, Krick said.

    If youd like to help the food bank now, they are always in need of volunteers and shelf-stable food donations.

    Latest Stories:

    Read Also: Places That Donate Food To Schools

    Will Grocery Stores Donate Food

    Yes, is the short answer.

    At all of the 10 different Whole Foods stores I worked at over the years which ranged from east to west coasts, we donated the following:

    • Day-old bread and pastries
    • Dented cans and boxes
    • Damaged produce items

    We did not, however, donate deli foods from the hot or cold salad bars, much of which got tossed on a nightly basis. Also, its worth noting that many Whole Foods stores do a good job of repurposing food that is still good but isnt up to display standards.

    By that I mean, bruised apples might be transferred from the Produce department to the Juice Bar. Or a bag of rolled oats with a torn label might be cut open and put into the bulk bins.

    We also know from the above report card, that the most donation-conscientious retail grocery chains are:

    And the flip side, we see that the worst-performing grocery chains include:

    The real irony here is that Trader Joes and Aldi are owned by the same family .

    Of course, there are countless other grocery chains and local stores that likely werent part of that survey. So when in doubt, ask your local grocery what their food donation policies and programs include.

    Northeast Iowa Food Bank

    Food bank donations needed as demand rises

    If you are moving from inside Iowa, or an area near northeastern Iowa, the Northeast Iowa Food Bank is an excellent choice for your food donations. The food bank serves 16 counties in the region, reaching out to an estimated 47,000 food-insecure citizens. This foodbank provides the food to 200 different nonprofits along with supplying its own service programs. It runs a garden to supplement the summer food it offers to the area.

    How to donate food to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank:

    Food can be dropped off at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Simply go to the door labeled Food Donations. Check out its site to figure out the most needed items or items that it cannot accept. Northeast Iowa Food Banks address is:

    1605 Lafayette Street

    Waterloo, IA 50703

    Read Also: Good Foods To Eat Before Donating Plasma

    Englewood Community Members Receive Food Donations In Absence Of Grocery Stores

    Volunteers distribute free food in Englewood after recent closing of Whole Foods

    Volunteers unloaded an 18-wheeler truck Monday filled with donated foods for the Englewood community.

    CHICAGO – Volunteers unloaded an 18-wheeler truck Monday filled with donated foods for the Englewood community.

    Activist Andrew Holmes was among the group of organizers.

    He says the distribution was important with the recent closing of the Whole Foods in the area, as well as the continued economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation.

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