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Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

In 1996, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was signed. This Act encourages the donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations that, in turn, distribute to those in need.

Easier to Donate…

  • It protects you from liability when you donate to a non-profit organization.
  • It protects you from civil and criminal liability should the product, donated in good faith, later cause harm to the needy recipient.
  • It standardizes donor liability exposure. You or your legal counsel no longer have to investigate liability laws in 50 states.
  • It sets a liability 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 conduct is likely to be harmful to the health or well being of another person."
  • Congress recognized that the provision of food close to the date of recommended retail sale is, in and of itself, not grounds for finding gross negligence. For example, you can donate cereal marked close to code date for retail sale.

Easier to Do the Right Thing…

  • Your company's support promotes corporate citizenship.
  • A public survey indicates that 80% of survey respondents would be encouraged to buy products from companies supporting hunger relief.
  • The 1995 Market Potential Report found that 83% of more than 240 companies polled cited "liability concerns" as the single greatest factor in determining if their company would donate product.
  • In the same report, 75% of 300 companies interviewed reported greater satisfaction in donating food and grocery products than selling them to secondary markets, dumping or destroying them.

And Now Donating is Easier Than Ever Before!

Gleaners Community Food Bank continues to meet or exceed the same federal food-handling and safety regulations governing the food and grocery industry. Call 313.923.3535 or fax 313.923.2247 to have your donation picked up within 24 hours. For the complete text of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, visit