Good Samaritan Laws
The Good News about the…
FEDERAL AND NEW YORK STATE GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS
Is that they make it easier for you to donate.
- They protect you from liability when you donate to a
- They protect you from civil and criminal liability should
the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the needy recipient.
- They set legal standards for persons who donate grocery
products. According to the new Federal Law, gross negligence is defined as
“voluntary and conscious conduct by a person with knowledge (at the time of
conduct) that the conduct is likely to be harmful to the health or well being
of another person.” Under New York State
Law, a good faith donor is protected from liability unless the donor has actual
or constructive knowledge that the food is adulterated, tainted,
contaminated or harmful to the health or well-being of the person consuming said food.
And Easier to Do the Right Thing…
Customers will be encouraged to buy products from companies
supporting hunger relief.
You will have greater satisfaction donating food product
after all your hard work.
You will save money in dumping fees.
Island Harvest Makes it Easy!
Donating is easier
now than ever before. Island Harvest even supplies containers for
transport. Contact us at
516-294-8528 ext. 40 to have your donation picked up.
Both New York State and the Federal Government have laws
that protect donors from liability.
- Federal Law The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food
Donation Act unifies various state laws and definitions into a single set
of regulations. All donations,
given in good faith and without gross negligence are exempt from legal
- New York State Law “holds
harmless” the donor of perishable and non-perishable food to Island Harvest.
The law releases the original donor from all liabilities, damages,
losses, claims or expenses resulting from the condition of the donated
food, assuming that the donated food was fit for consumption at the time
Note: Island Harvest
asks all recipient agencies to sign an agreement accepting food “as is”, which further
limits donor liability.
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
The Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended (which can be
found at 42 U.S.C. Section 1771 et. seq) encourages the donation of food and
grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy
individuals by limiting the liability of those who provide food. Please note
however, that the donation of food and grocery products may also be subject to
certain state and local restrictions.
2. New York State
Article 4-D, Section 71-2
71-Z Liability for
canned, perishable food or farm products distributed free of charge.
1. Not withstanding any other provision of law,
a good faith donor of any canned or perishable food or farm product, apparently
for human consumption, to a bonafide charitable or nonprofit organization, for
free distribution shall not be subject to
criminal penalty or civil damages arising from the condition of the food, if
the said donor reasonably inspects the food at the time of donation and finds
the food apparently safe for human consumption and unless the donor has actual
or constructive knowledge that the food is adulterated, tainted, contaminated
or harmful to the health or well-being of the person consuming said food.
2. This section includes the good faith
donation of canned or perishable food or farm products not readily marketable
due to appearance, freshness, grade, surplus or other consideration, but shall
not be deemed or construed to restrict the authority of any lawful agency to
otherwise regulate or ban the use of such food for human
For a complete text of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food
Donation Act and New York’s “Good Samaritan” Law call the Island Harvest
View Island Harvest Donation Guidelines