1 in 7 Tennesseans are food insecure, which means they lack consistent access to nutritious food. At the same time 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten. By donating food, you not only help feed those who are food insecure, but you also make sure that food resources are not being wasted.

Check out our guide, Fight Food Insecurity in Tennessee to learn more about what you can do to help.

How Food Recovery and Donation Addresses Food Waste

According to the USDA, 31 percent of food waste at the retail and consumer levels translated to 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of edible food in 2010. This is food that could have been donated to help feed food insecure people. but instead was sent to the landfill. Additional food waste, nearly 10 million tons a year comes from farms, due to cosmetic standards of stores and restaurants, influenced by a high demand of “perfect produce” by consumers. Efforts from gleaning organizations and food banks helps to get this wholesome food from the farms to those who are food insecure.

Donor Liability Information

You are legally protected to donate food through the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and the Tennessee Liability of Free Food Distributors law.

Through previsions made during the 111th Tennessee General Assembly, Tennessee law now provides donor liability protection to not only businesses, non-profits, and gleaners, but also individuals as well. The law also provides protection for donated items that are past their expiration date, but are still safe for consumption, and items directly donated to an individual.

Tax Incentive Information

In Tennessee, there are no state-level tax incentives for food donations, so businesses are only eligible for federal tax incentives. The two types of federal incentives available are general (non-enhanced) tax deduction and enhanced tax deduction. For more information about these types of tax deductions and eligibility requirements can be found in the tax incentives legal fact sheet below.

Tax Incentives for Food Donations in TN

Check out the map below to find locations near you to donate food and participate in gleaning efforts.

If you have additional operations or organizations that should be represented on this map please contact Matthew Taylor.