January 18, 2013. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pelham Weekly, January 11, 2013. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
NEWSDAY.COM, December 4, 2012. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Journal News, November 25, 2012. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pelham Weekly, November 23, 2012. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hunger in Westchester County
Although Westchester County is one of the richest counties in the United States, approximately 83,000 residents are living at or below the federal poverty level. The County's hunger crisis has been compounded by the recent recession and ensuing vicious cycle of unemployment and homelessness. Soup kitchens, food pantries and homeless shelters are relying on food donations more than ever due to the economic crises and cuts in their funding. Rescued food, of any amount, is a huge help to them.
For more information on how to help feed Westchester's hungry, please email County Harvest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both New York State and the Federal Government have laws that protect donors from liability
The information below highlights how the New York State and Federal Government laws regarding food donation to not-for-profit organizations protect food donors from liability.
Federal Law - The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act unifies various state laws and definitions into a single set of regulations. All donations, given in good faith and without gross negligence are exempt from legal liability.
The Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended (which can be found at 42 U.S.C. Section 1771 et. seq) encourages the donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals by limiting the liability of those who provide food. Please note however, that the donation of food and grocery products may also be subject to certain state and local restrictions.
On October 1, 1996, President Clinton signed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. This law makes it easier to donate. Here's how:
* It protects donors from liability when donating to a non-profit organization.
* It protects donors from civil and criminal liability should the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the needy recipient.
* It standardizes donor liability exposure. Donors and their 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. (See Act text for further definitions.)
* Congress recognized that the provision of food close to recommended date of sale is, in and of itself, not grounds for finding gross negligence. For example, cereal can be donated if it is marked close to code date for retail sale.
Click on link below for the full text of the Act:
New York State Law - Enacted 1981, Article 4-D, Section 71-2
New York State Law “holds harmless” the donor of perishable and non-perishable food to County Harvest. The law releases the original donor from all liabilities, damages, losses, claims or expenses resulting from the condition of the donated food, assuming that the donated food was fit for consumption at the time of donation.
71-Z Liability for canned, perishable food or farm products distributed free of charge.
- Not withstanding any other provision of law, a good faith donor of any canned or perishable food or farm product, apparently for human consumption, to a bonafide charitable or non-profit organization, for free distribution shall not be subject to criminal penalty or civil damages arising from the condition of the food, if the said donor reasonably inspects the food at the time of donation and finds the food apparently safe for human consumption and unless the donor has actual or constructive knowledge that the food is adulterated, tainted, contaminated or harmful to the health or well-being of the person consuming said food.
- This section includes the good faith donation of canned or perishable food or farm products not readily marketable due to appearance, freshness, grade, surplus or other consideration, but shall not be deemed or construed to restrict the authority of any lawful agency to otherwise regulate or ban the use of such food for human consumption.