Celebrate - New Season
Mitzvah Idea: Donating Food After Your Event

Special events Website, BizBash.com, published a great article by Alesandra Dubin regarding food donation after your event that we wanted to share.

Catering and food choices are usually one of the main considerations we make when planning a Bar Bat Mitzvah reception. All the leftover delicious food will usually get thrown out, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Your family and caterer can feel good by donating to an organization that could use it. An added benefit is that food donations are tax deductible for either you or the caterer. There are regulations that apply to the kinds of foods that can be donated and how they need to be packaged.

If you plan to donate your leftovers, it’s best to talk to your caterer about it or call your local food bank prior to your event to find out their requirements for preparation and drop-off.

Here are some suggestions per Biz Bash:

1. Plan ahead
Donating food following an event can’t be an afterthought. It needs to be part of the pre-planning process. Speak to your planner, your venue coordinator, or your caterer. Make sure everyone knows your donation plan.

2. Being Protected
Give your venue a copy of the Bill Emerson Act which protects the donor and the recipient agency against liability. In the article, Syd Mandlebaum CEO of Rock and Wrap It Up, an organization that works throughout North America to recover leftover food says, “Food donation starts with simple planning and strategies. Given the opportunity, before you sign a contract with a caterer, hotel, or resort, let them know that you are writing into the contract a sentence that states, ‘All leftover food, prepared but not served, cannot be thrown away, but must go to an anti-hunger agency,’”  It is important to note that the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Laws protect food donors as long as safe food handling is used.”

 

Rock and Wrap
3. Partner with a local organization
Locate the local organization to receive the donation and arrange the specifics—in particular, how the food will make its way to the group following the event. The Hungerpedia tool on the Rock and Wrap It Up Website lists vetted agencies that can be contacted for food recovery from events throughout the continent—groups that have their health certificates, transportation and refrigeration.

Here are a few national organizations that accept food donations.

Rock and Wrap It Up – This is a global, award-winning, anti-poverty think tank. The organization has fed more than 500 million people, supports over 43,000 agencies in North America, and is partnered not only with 150 rock bands, but with professional sports franchises, colleges, hotel chains, film and television producers.

City Harvest – Local food rescue programs will pick up leftovers from the wedding reception, and deliver them to a homeless shelter the same day. Most of the food banks only deal with non-perishable food items. For more information and to locate a local food rescue program, please visit America’s Second Harvest (www.secondharvest.org).

Feeding America – Find a food bank in your area using the locator at Feeding America. They have a nationwide network of food banks that distributes more than 3 billion meals each year to communities throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger.

We hope these great suggestions provide you with information on giving back to your community after your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration.


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