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fracy August 9th, 2016 6:10am

Should there be a law requiring grocery stores to give unsold food to the needy?

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Suzan Hawaii
08/10/16 10:29 am

It would put their liability off of the charts. The fresh produce spoiled and should not be eaten by humans. The food with the expiration dates are there for reason.

Krystina Let Freedom Reign
08/10/16 8:21 am

No, there shouldn't be a law requiring it. But, they should definitely get rid of any and all laws that prevent people and businesses from giving food to the needy...and yes, laws like that really do exist.

catpillow Florida West Coast
08/10/16 1:26 am

I'd like it better if grocers got a tax break for their donations of food.

catpillow Florida West Coast
08/10/16 1:26 am

I'd like it better if grocers got a tax break for their donations of food.

dxstap Bloomington, Indiana
08/09/16 5:42 pm

Don't like requiring to give unsold food.
A law allowing unsold food to be given to local shelters is appropriate.
Many communities don't allow this because of health department issues.

dfish at home
08/09/16 4:23 pm

Now they have to pay to transport it somewhere else?! Sounds like that isn't very well thought out

alval California
08/09/16 1:17 pm

A law no, it would be nice but most place throw food away because they don't want to be liable for sickness.

thatguy2 We tried to warn you
08/09/16 5:08 pm

There's already a law in place to protect them from liability.

dxstap Bloomington, Indiana
08/09/16 5:45 pm

A liability protection law does not exist everywhere.
It's a good idea though.

Carcano Luke 10 19
08/09/16 12:53 pm

So if I wait until the end of the day I can get my groceries for free?

davidwhite1 Building it Bigger
08/09/16 10:44 am

If we didn't live in a litigious society then sure.
But undoubtedly they would be sued. They are throwing the food out because they no longer deem the food to salable to the general public. The first person that got from the beef stew a week past its expiration date sues for millions and ruins it for everyone.

thatguy2 We tried to warn you
08/09/16 5:08 pm

There's already a law in place to protect them from liability.

Iamamerican California
08/09/16 10:29 am

The grocery company I used to work for gave some food to homeless shelters, composted other food items and recycled cardboard.

getupbaby South City
08/09/16 9:29 am

No. It's not necessary. Tax codes make it advantageous to do so and almost all of them do. I actually put together donations for a grocery store.

Celadonne ballfield
08/09/16 7:42 am

Great idea. I think a lot of stores already do this. You're a great writer, why not do a feature article on those that do? We could use some good news! As far as a law goes, I think not, only because it would be costly to regulate. I would think the stores who want good publicity would happily donate their unsold food without a legal requirement, but on the other hand many don't have the staff to dedicate to such a program. Perhaps a community service program? What do you think?

Laserbeam Crazy bird lady
08/08/16 11:15 pm

I'd support legislation like that. It would not affect the store at all. They throw away items that they consider to be "unsellable", which is mostly items with slightly damaged packaging. Many grocery stores have already taken the initiative to start donating to food banks daily, but not most.

Praetorianus Fair enough.
08/08/16 11:19 pm

What needs to be done first is remove liability laws.
I've heard they're afraid to put out or donate food because they can be held liable if someone gets sick.

Laserbeam Crazy bird lady
08/08/16 11:22 pm

Well expired foods shouldn't be given to a food bank. Those can go in the garbage. But honestly, that stuff makes up a very small percentage of a store's overall shrink.

Praetorianus Fair enough.
08/08/16 11:38 pm

There's a difference between a sell by or best before date and actual expiration. They should be allowed to give away, minus liability, if it's slightly over.
It would help if the producer puts a true "safe until" label on it.
I hate food wasted.

Laserbeam Crazy bird lady
08/08/16 11:49 pm

I am aware of the difference, and the dates you see are "sell by" dates. Non-perishable foods past their printed are routinely donated to food banks, but what I specifically meant was that perishable foods past their sell-by definitely need to be tossed. Dairy, meat, etc. I got really bad food poisoning one time from sushi I ate on it's sell-by date. The grocer should absolutely be held liable if they're donating perishables on/past their date because there's a reasonable risk. (But really, the food bank rep who picks it up should reject that stuff before it ever gets put in the truck anyways)

thatguy2 We tried to warn you
08/09/16 5:55 am

The liability issue has long since been addressed:
"Many vendors mistakenly believe they'll get sued for providing food that gets somebody sick, even if they think that food is safe. The vendors may decide giving away their leftovers isn't worth the legal risk.

What these vendors may not know (or fully understand) is that in 1996, Congress passed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, thus protecting good faith food donors from civil and criminal liability. The law specifically protects individuals, corporations, wholesalers, caterers, farmers, restaurateurs, and others from liability for donating food in good faith."

RB20 Indiana
08/09/16 9:32 am

If many already do it then why legislate it? And why legislate what they get to do with their own property?