{Yes You Can} Donate Your Leftover Food!

Anyone who has been to a Jewish wedding, bat or bar mitzvah, or kosher event knows that there is usually WAY too much food!  A common questions is – What do we with all the leftovers?!?

Donating Leftovers to Food Banks

Many venues, caterers, and hosts are under the MISCONCEPTION that donating uneaten food would incur civil and possibly criminal liability should the food spoil before people eat it. However, this is not the case.It’s been 18 years (Chai!) since The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act was passed, which protects any and all food donors from ALL liability when donating food to non-profit organizations. This includes prepared foods, food that has been sitting out during a cocktail hour, fresh produce, etc.  What does this mean for you?  You can absolutely, positively donate your leftover wedding or event food to local food banks!

A simcha is a perfect opportunity to give back to those less fortunate – in a way that costs nothing – just a bit of coordination between the venue or caterer (often facilitated by the planner) and a local food bank or food rescue operation.

In New England, New England Chapter of National Association of Caterers and Event Professionals’ community service chair, photographer Dana Siles has set up a network of regional food rescue centers throughout the Northeast. Learn about NENACE’s Feeding Our Neighbors Initiative, promoting food pickups after corporate and special events to minimize food waste in our industry and feed our neighbors in need.  Another resource is Feeding America’s Food Bank Locator.

If You’re The Host – Bride & Groom, Mitzvah Family

Ask your planner/caterer/venue to please donate the food. The send them the link above, which includes all the information necessary. The planner coordinates with the caterer/venue/food collection site for the donation.

If You’re The Planner, Caterer or Venue

Any planner, caterer or venue may include in their contract the stipulation that all leftover food be donated to _____. The client gets to feel good about the donation, and someone offers to be responsible for setting up the collection.

Also check out: How Your Wedding or Mitzvah Venue Can Support Charity & Help The Homeless

A special thank you to Naomi Raiselle from GENERATIONS  Cinemastories for bringing our attention to this important cause.

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Written by Cigall Goldman

Cigall Goldman