Donate food: feed people, not landfill

Businesses and households collectively throw away almost a million tonnes of food each year in NSW. Meanwhile 100,000 people in our state require food relief each month, a quarter of them children. EPA grants and programs are working to close this gap.

For food relief organisations

Not-for-profits can apply for organics infrastructure grants (Stream 3), administered by the Environmental Trust, for infrastructure to help them collect and store more donated food.

Other food donation education grants and programs being developed for 2017-21 will support efforts to engage new donors, and assist food relief agencies to build their capacity, individually or as regional groups or hubs.

For businesses donating food

When you donate surplus food instead of discarding it, this benefits your business, the community and the environment.

Food that can be donated

  • leftover unused portions not served to customers or clients, such as café sandwiches or salads
  • excess food at markets or supermarkets
  • farm-grown food that does not meet supermarkets' size or cosmetic criteria
  • damaged or incorrectly packaged food from food manufacturers
  • food past its 'best before' date, provided it is not damaged, deteriorated or perished, or past a 'use by' date

The law on donating food

The Civil Liability Amendment (Food Donations) Act 2005, known as the Good Samaritan Act, protects food donors by limiting the liability of individuals and businesses that donate food, providing they meet certain food safety conditions.

According to NSW Food Authority advice, food donors must ensure

  • the food is donated in good faith for a charitable or benevolent purpose
  • the food is donated with the intention that the receiver of food does not have to pay for the food
  • the food is safe to eat when it leaves the possession or control of the donor
  • the donor gives the charity any information it needs to ensure the ongoing safety of the food.

See http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/

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