Restaurants find way to donate excess food

Guest submission from Food Waste Stops with Me
As originally featured at Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association website

As a food service business, you have the power to create a positive impact in your community by donating your excess edible food to local food banks and pantries. Not only does this provide much-needed nourishment to your hungry neighbors, but it also comes with many benefits for your business. In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages of donating your surplus food and how you can establish a program with the help of local government staff.

Support from Local Government 
Setting up a food donation program is a straightforward process, especially when you have the support of local government staff. They can provide technical assistance with donation dos and don’ts, best practices for success and connect you with food banks and pantries in your area, ensuring that your excess edible food reaches those who need it most. By working together, you engage employees to create a strong network of support that uplifts your neighborhood and builds meaningful connections.

Liability Protection and Tax Incentives
Potential liability issues are among the leading concerns for businesses considering donating their food. Federal and state laws protect you from liability when you donate food in good faith that you believe to be safe and edible (Bill Emerson Food Donation Act and Oregon Good Samaritan Law). Additionally, your business may be eligible for tax incentives provided by the federal government, further reducing any financial burden and encouraging participation in food rescue programs.

Prevent Waste, Benefit the Environment 
The hospitality industry generates a significant amount of food waste. By taking proactive measures to prevent avoidable waste by donating your excess abundance, you contribute to a healthier environment. Not only can this act of kindness save you money on disposal fees, but it also promotes goodwill for your business. Embracing sustainable practices like sharing extra food and ensuring it is not unnecessarily wasted showcases your commitment to making a difference in your region.

Enhancing Your Reputation and Community Engagement 
Not only is donating food a responsible and compassionate choice, but it also boosts your business’s reputation. When your customers see your dedication to giving back, they view your establishment as one that cares about its most vulnerable community members. This supportive act can increase customer loyalty, improve employee satisfaction and influence others in your industry to follow your lead.

Launch your food donation program today- it’s easy and rewarding! Visit to learn more or to request assistance from a local food waste reduction specialist.

Does your business have a successful donation program going? Share your experience to inspire other companies to follow in your footsteps! Click here and submit your Success Story- we can’t wait to hear from you!

Food Waste Stops with Me is a collaboration between Metro, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and city and county governments to help food service businesses reduce food waste.


This guest blog was submitted by Food Waste Stops with Me. For more information on guest blog opportunities, contact Marla McColly, Business Development Director, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.