Don't trash your event leftovers, donate them to those in need!

    Sierra Nevada Brewery donates surplus food from Oktoberfest to the veterans at the Veterans Restoration Quarters with the help of Food Connection. (Photo credit: Food Connection)

    One local organization is taking local leftovers and making those “leftovers” available to those in need in our community!

    Working under the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, Asheville’s Food Connection is actively taking donations from restaurants and caterers and delivering those meals to agencies that provide meals for those in our community who need food.

    This week, Sierra Nevada Brewery donated over 500-pounds of surplus food from the breweries Oktoberfest event to the veterans at the Veterans Restoration Quarters. This is the third year Sierra Nevada has teamed up with Food Connection to arrange a post-Oktoberfest pick-up.

    How does it work

    • Donors submit an application which the fine folks at the Food Connection review. Once approved, you’re set!
    • Food Connection picks up the food and distributes it to those in need at no cost. The food donations are coordinated through Dig Local in connection with Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Asheville Taxi, and local non-profits.
    • Following the North Carolina Food Safety Guidelines donors place the food (minimum of 18 portions) in a disposable tray, wrap it and label it with donor name, location, a description of the item, and the date and time it was packaged.
    • Donors send a text message to the Food Connection hotline, and Asheville Taxi comes to pick up the food within 30 minutes.

    Misconceptions about the law often holds-up the process. Many people feel leftover food from restaurants and catering organizations can't be donated without the fear of litigation. The Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects donors from that.

    The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects the donor and the recipient agency against liability, excepting only gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct.

    In addition, each state has passed Good Samaritan Laws that provide liability protection to good faith donors.

    Next time you're planning a wedding, holiday party or any kind of big event, keep the Food Connection in mind!

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