We Share Hope’s vision of a Strategic Food Rescue Plan for the State of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts

(a review of Federal and State Laws governing food donation)

By some estimates each year 14 billion pounds of food are sent to landfills. Meanwhile nearly 30 million Americans including 12 million children are at risk of hunger. We Share Hope, a Rhode Island based food rescuer, needs your help to keep this from happening by encouraging organizations to offer food donations which are protected under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act, by volunteering time, by people willing to use their vehicles to deliver food and by offering financial support. We Share Hope is a public, charitable, non-profit corporation whose primary mission is to provide food to organizations that feed the poor, the homeless, families in poverty, veterans and the working poor. The problem of hunger in Rhode Island can be resolved if we all work together.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE IS TO OVERCOME THE BARRIERS THAT PREVENT US FROM GETTING FOOD TO THOSE IN NEED.

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 1, 1996. 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 the persons who donate grocery products. The Bill Emerson Act encourages the donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for the distribution to needy individuals by giving the Model Good Samaritan Food Donation Act the full force and effect of law.

The State of Rhode Island General Laws:

Title 21 Food And Drugs Chapter 21-34 Food Donations

Sections 21-34-1 immunity from liability for food donors.

A person, or organization including, but not limited to, a farmer, a processor, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer of food, or restaurant, or accredited culinary arts school, who in good faith donates food, including surplus, prepared food that has been maintained at a safe temperature, which appears to be fit for human consumption at the time it is donated to a bonafide charitable or non-profit organization for the use or distribution to the needy shall not be liable for the civil damages or criminal penalties for any injury or illness resulting from the nature, age, condition, or packaging of the donated food unless the injury or illness is a direct result of the intentional misconduct or recklessness of the donor.

Title 21 Food And Drugs Chapter 21-34 Food Donations

Sections 21-34-2 Immunity from liability for distributors.

A bona fide non-profit or charitable organization which in good faith receives, prepares and distributes to the need, without charge, food which appears to be fit for human consumption at the time it is distributed, including food prepared on the premises of the organization, shall not be liable for civil damages or criminal penalties for any injury or illness resulting from the nature, age, condition, or packaging of the food unless the injury or illness is a direct result of the intentional misconduct or recklessness of the organization.

Title 21 Food And Drugs Chapter 21-34 Food Donations

Sections 21-34-3 Authority of department of health not restricted.

Nothing contained in this chapter is intended to restrict the authority of the department of health to regulate or ban the use of donated food.

If you believe what we are doing is important, YOU CAN HELP by sending a monthly contribution to:

We Share Hope
624 Main Street
Warren, RI 02915

Visit us at: www.wesharehope.org

Office is at:

624 Main Street, Warren Rhode Island, 02885 401-289-0448