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How to Donate Catering Food Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

How to Donate Catering Food

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


The following plan aims to provide step-b­y-step instru­ctions and sugges­tions on how to execute a food rescue, as promoted by the Food Rescue Committee of the Sustai­nable Events Network, Florida & Caribbean. The committee was formed in 2016 with the goal of inspiring event planners and associated vendors to safely donate leftover food to local charities in order to benefit the commun­ities in which they meet.


• Note in the request for proposal your desire to stage a food rescue. Language to use, should indicate an intent to "­donate all leftover food to the degree possible within safety and health regula­tions and the Good Samaritan laws" or "­donate all table scraps to a local farm or compost, if a program is available or arranged for by Group."­

• Negotiate a contract clause that reflects agreement on what to do if food is left over. Include the name of the receiving charity (see below).

• Identify and contact a local charity to determine a game plan in case there is food left over (generally shelte­rs/soup kitchens for prepared foods, food pantri­es/food banks for packaged foods).

• Determine if the charity has an approp­riate (e.g., refrig­erated) truck or van and is able to pick up immedi­ately after the event, or secure alternate refrig­era­tio­n/t­ran­spo­rtation arrang­ements.

• Identi­fy/­appoint a food-r­escue coordi­nator (FRC). This could be a staff member of the planner, client, facility or charity.

• Invite the FRC to all approp­riate planning and precon­vention meetings.

• Develop a collection and logistics plan with the FRC.

Donating Catered Leftovers


• Determine the type/form of potential leftover food: packaged, as in a food show; prepared, as in a banqueting event; or both, as in a food festival.

• Determine whether boxes or aluminum pans and lids will be needed. Estimate the quantity, and figure out who will supply contai­ners.

• Print brightly colored stickers that say "Food Rescue­" to be applied to boxes, pans, etc.

• Determine whether other equipment (e.g., Queen Mary banquet carts, pallets) is needed at the venue to collect food.

• Secure permission from the facility for the food-r­escue team to circulate at the event (and inform personnel in security, catering and at the loading dock) and to stage a truck at the loading dock or service entrance if needed.

• Plan commun­ica­tions with the head chef, vendors, purveyors and/or other chefs, explaining the procedure for leftovers, where they will go and who they will benefit. Note the language on the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act (see link in sidebar at right).

• Ensure that any necessary instru­ctions and permis­sions are included in the banquet event order.

• Assign the FRC to plan volunteer needs and develop a recrui­tment plan. Inquire whether the charity can provide volunt­eers. Plan for the volunt­eers' presence at the event, including parking, gathering point, dress requir­ements, necessary creden­tials, name tags, and meals or refres­hments.