Donate Food

Thank you to all of our food donors—and welcome to those looking at working with us.

We obviously could not do what we do without the food that we receive from the six different Marin County-based grocery markets, and other food vendors who give us food to distribute—mostly on a daily basis.

If you are with a store that still throws away food, please take note of the above graphic from the Environmental Protection Agency that makes a point that the MOST PREFERRED method of disposing of still edible food is to FEED HUNGRY PEOPLE. 

If you are you a food retailer that would like to:

  • Save a substantial amount of money on dumpster fees
  • Do away with the mess of clandestine “dumpster diving”
  • Make sure that the perfectly good dated items, ripe produce or damaged packages get to people who can use them within an hour of pick-up
  • Know that whatever time you need a donation picked up, that someone cheerful and responsible will be there

If so, please call:

Curt Kinkead
Lead Volunteer/Director of Operations
(415) 407-2424 Direct
(415) 935-6132 Office

Meanwhile, here is some information that you might find useful:

Questions and Answers Regarding Food Donations

Where does the food Respecting Our Elders delivers come from?

It comes from local grocers and food purveyors. Essentially, the food that is donated would otherwise be thrown away, and therefore could be considered “spoils” or “garbage.” However, in actuality, it is for the most part, fresh food that has reached—or is about to reach—it’s expiration date, or is too ripe to sell, or the package was damaged in some way. Instead of throwing it away, these stores donate it and it is immediately distributed to people who can use it, who cannot afford to go out and buy this food on a regular basis.

How does this benefit the donating stores?

First is the good public relations in the community for the donating store when it becomes known that they are donating to Respecting Our Elders. The public likes to support stores that are truly community-minded. Respecting Our Elders has a very beneficial and positive reputation in Marin County for helping those in need. Second, it saves the store money in daily dumpster fees that usually range in the hundreds of dollars per dumpster. This is a bottom line that cannot be ignored. And certainly last but not least, we have heard that people who have received food through Respecting Our Elders have turned around and gone shopping at the donating stores, using their limited funds or food stamps to buy things that they have found out about through this distribution program. This is another bottom line benefit to the donating vendor.

How are the stores that donate food to Respecting Our Elders protected?

In 1996, President Clinton signed the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act to encourage donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. This law protects the stores from liability when they donate to a non-profit organization; Protects the store from civil and criminal liability should the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the needy recipient; Standardizes donor liability exposure; Sets a floor of “gross negligence” or intentional misconduct for persons who donate grocery products. According to the law, gross negligence is defined as “voluntary and conscious conduct by a person with knowledge (at the time of conduct) that the conducts is likely to be harmful to the health or well-being of another person.”