“Oh my I forgot again” Ouch!,
By the elevator banks were the five foot rectangular cardboard boxes with flaps hanging on the sides. Inscribed on the box were four cans labeled “low sodium”, “low sugar”, “high protein” and “high fiber”. I could already feel a bit of relief as I approached the lobby, just massaging the sting to my temple from my heavy hand.
The night before, I mentally ran down my list of things to take along to work in the morning; my laptop in the computer wheeled business case and documents to be reviewed were set down in plain view by the dining table. The plan was to grab the other items – a boiled egg, orange and overnight oats for breakfast and my packed lunch – from the fridge along with some canned beans and corn and packs of angel hair pasta on my way out in the morning. Even more exciting was that this was my opportunity to get rid of some of the non-perishable items which had made my pantry home for a while, some of which I suspected may have passed their “sell-by” and “best used-by” dates.
Sell-by dates tell the store how long to display the product for sale. It is the date by which manufacturers suggest that retailers remove the product from shelves.
“Best by” and ‘use by’ tell the consumer when to eat (or freeze) a product for the best quality.
Food donation to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals is covered by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (BEA). It is a uniform national law to protect organizations and individuals when they donate food and grocery items in good faith. Donors are protected from civil and criminal liability related to such donations except in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Donors covered include individuals, corporations, partnerships, organizations, associations or governmental entities.
A few things to note about food donations:
- Avoid donating canned items with large dents along the rims of the can or cans with leaks along the seams or large dents or cans with any visible rust coming from them.
- BEA provides liability protection for donated items that are;
- apparently wholesome and or apparently fit grocery products;
- donated in good faith made to a non-profit organization and;
- distributed by the non-profit of needy individuals.
- Apparently Wholesome Food or Fit Product – meets all quality and labelling standards imposed by federal, dtate and local laws and regulations even though the food or product may not be readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade size, surplus, or other conditions.
- Donor nonprofit organization can charge a recipient nonprofit organization a nominal fee for costs associated with the donation. However, the consumer of the food may not be charged.
- Surplus wholesome but unused foodstuffs can be diverted from the dump to those in need. This reduces waste as well as facilitates the conversion of excess food for use in animal feed.
- Opportunities to volunteer at a local food bank abound. It is another way to build good will within the community. Volunteering shifts the focus from the individual to others. Learn about another fun way to help end hunger through donation of grains of rice here.
Now why let good food go to waste! Get your food item donations in on time.