How would you feel if a grocery store was legally required to donate all of the food that it couldn’t sell to the food bank?

How would you feel if a grocery store was legally required to donate all of the food that it couldn’t sell to the food bank?

View Reddit by ManMan36View Source

33 thoughts on “How would you feel if a grocery store was legally required to donate all of the food that it couldn’t sell to the food bank?

  1. shitpost-scrub February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    The grocery store I work at already donates a lot to the local food bank. Many try to donate as much as they can because the company can use the donations as a tax write-off. We also donate to several local schools and group homes.

    And most all the perishables that can’t be donated are collected and composted by a local farm, not trashed.

  2. thechairinfront February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I would feel enraged.

    Here’s why. I work with a food bank and with grocery stores to pick up their bad food. Grocery stores make a lot of donations. Lots of good usable food goes to the food banks and I pick up what can’t go there. I go to the food bank and I pick up what grocery stores donate to them that SHOULD HAVE GONE IN THE GARBAGE. There’s moldy food and there’s expired food that the food bank just has to get rid of.

    Now you think “no big deal just throw it in the trash” except in any decent sized city this is literal tons of food every single week that has to get thrown away. Literally thousands of pounds of rotten food that was either donated or went bad before it could be distributed. This isn’t just “throw it in the trash ” amount of food. This is “we have to make a special trip to the dump” amount of food. This costs a CHARITY hundreds if not thousands every single year.

    Let me tell you who the worst offender here is. Walmart. Walmart will donate almost anything to a food bank so they don’t have to pay to get rid of it. I have gone through PALLETS of rotten food from Walmart. Fuck you Walmart. Fuck you.

    TLDR: it’s a bad idea.

  3. RedditBanIncoming February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    That’s complicated because the food they can’t sell gets taken off the shelves when its almost expired, and only rarely did other reasons. If this was the law food banks would be inundated with old food that they’d have at best a few days to disperse before throwing it out themselves. I’ll bet that a law like this would result in more hassle for food banks than is worth.

  4. RedBlimp February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    There shouldn’t be laws to require them, but there could be incentives to encourage it. Most likely though, if a store is going to throw out food then the shelter probably wouldn’t take it anyhow. The shelters do have standards they have to meet when it comes to accepting donations. They often discard donated food that has passed its printed expiration date.

    EDIT: Grammar hard.

  5. GatoPajama February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Used to work at a grocery store (major chain store) in really ghetto part of town. The way customers handled our food (such as opening it, taking a bite, closing the package, and putting it back on the shelf) would make me more inclined to trash leftovers rather than give them away. I had good eyes when scanning the shelves for unsellable things, but it’s impossible to catch everything.
    Have also found dirty diapers stuffed in the very back of shelves or buried in produce displays.
    Have seen people break the seal on milk to open it and smell it, then put it back on the shelf.
    Have also seen customers take perishable foods (like meats), decide on the way to checkout that they didn’t want them, and just throw them in random (non refrigerated) places in the store. Some of that meat, if employee finds it & determines it is still cool enough to the touch, goes back in the cold case in the meat dept for someone else to buy. But as a customer I would still not buy it if I knew that it had been sitting out. Or want to give it to a food bank.

    People are pigs.

  6. jvanderh February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Legally required is too extreme. Incentivize it with a tax cut or something and pay for the transport.

  7. fat_lazy_mofo February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I worked for one in the UK that used to do this – apparently one of the homeless people got food poisoning and successfully sued them. They stopped doing it after that, I suspect other companies may take similar views

  8. ExpiresTomorrow February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Well, who is required to do the transportation? That’s a lot to throw on the grocer.
    I’d the non-profit going to pickup? Well, they can’t make the time, not food is expired. Who is held liable?

    Also, you often don’t know what isn’t going to sell until it doesn’t sell.

    It might also change how they re-use foods. For instance the hot deli chicken that doesn’t sell is reused for chicken salad.
    So, did the hot chicken not sell, so it goes donated?
    Same with the cinnamon buns, often reused to make bread pudding. How does the law see that?

    What if the place is just flooded with low quality cakes? Do we really want to serve a needy population old junk food?

    While the idea is on the surface, fine. Stores aren’t generally tossing out perfectly good food. It’s a terrible good business model.
    This regulation would put a lot of undue burdens on the small stores operating with small profit margins.

  9. RanchRelaxo February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Compelling people to be good via force doesn’t make people good. I think it would be great if they donated their edible food as most food they can’t sell is inedible, but forcing them to do so is wrong.

  10. 47sams February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    My store does this with bread and shit. Cuts their taxes

  11. mirrorlnk February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    two words: logistics & accountability

  12. theslyder February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I work in a grocery store that donates as much as possible, and this is not only not enforceable, (who’s to say that box of stuff I threw out last night was salvageable or not? How do you monitor that and enforce it?) but how would you even draw the line between donateable and garbage? Obviously a moldy tomato is garbage, but what about one with a small scratch in its flesh?

    Canned food is some of the longest lasting food we have and even a small dent can cause a rupture too small to leak but small enough to allow bacteria in.

    I think incentives with tax breaks or things like that is the best way to do it since it creates a self moderating scenario.

  13. Rajmang February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Traders joes and whole foods do this, not law tho

  14. Panhead09 February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    >legally required


    Pick one.

    I’m all for donating to the poor, and I wish more people did it. But keep the government out of it please.

  15. themanbat February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Forced charity is no longer charity.

  16. Luposetscientia February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Ok I guess. I’d be happier if it didn’t need legislating.

  17. ACharest February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    My grocery store does this. What we can’t donate we compost. Our brand prides itself on giving back to the community

  18. rrsafety February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    In Lexington, KY the food bank went around each day to the ten or so supermarkets and picked up old bread. No biggie. Don’t need a law and criminal penalties to do this just a well organized food bank.

  19. MeymeyMachine February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I don’t like the idea of it being a *law* but I think it’d be cool if the store could write if off on their taxes.

  20. MpVpRb February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Great.. if..

    The food bank picked it up and provided all labor and equipment
    The store was protected against all lawsuits resulting from the transportation on consumption of the food

  21. DJ_GiantMidget February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I’m not a fan of being forced to do something. I’m fine with incentivising though

  22. Macabalony February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I worked in a grocery store. Things like Oreos don’t really expire but are not as fresh. Both Nabisco and the grocery store would load all expired product in a banana box and leave it outside for anyone who picked it up.

  23. BushyDio February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Great. We throw out too much.

  24. RazarTuk February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    How are you defining “couldn’t sell”? Because the main reason *I* can think of to take something off the shelf is it expiring.

  25. leetfists February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    The main problem with grocery stores donating food is logistics. No, no one cares about anyone getting sick and suing because it just doesn’t happen. Transporting and storing large amounts of food that need to be stored at varying temperatures is a hell of a hassle, even for the store itself. Who is going to pay for the labor and equipment to transport, store, and distribute all that food? By the time you get all that figured out and paid for, you’ve spent a *lot* of money to give away a bunch of random stale and expired food.

  26. Pako21green February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I’m against FORCING a company to do it. But companies that do it could get some sort of certification that they do it, like a little logo on their brochures or coupons or whatever.

    The government forcing companies to do anything is scary.

  27. operarose February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I don’t think it should be legally mandated (i.e. with the impending threat of *not* donating the food being considered a crime), but stores should be given better incentives and easier avenues to donate it than what they have right now.

    I’m sure there are *plenty* of grocery store managers big and small nationwide who would be more than happy to donate unsold food to the needy, but there’s so much more to the act than just dropping it off at a food pantry. Extra resources would need to be allocated to help weed out and discard expired/inedible products, boxes to transport the food, the cost of gas to make regular trips to the food bank, whether or not the people doing the sorting and transporting are being paid for their time or not, etc. All things to consider.

    Something else I believe would greatly increase the number of store-to-food-bank donations is an educational campaign to dispel the myth of litigation over donated food. All 50 states have coverage of [the Emerson Act]( a Good Samaritan law that protects donors from liability if it can be proven that the goods were donated in good faith. Additionally, *there has never been a single reported case* of someone being sued over donated food.

    Changing the attitude from “I would, but don’t want to get sued!” to “I’m doing my part!” is the first big step.

  28. -Dionysus February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    A legally required donation isn’t a donation.

  29. Echoblammo February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    #hey Reddit how would you feel if [thing that obviously benefits society but is extremely difficult to implement] existed

  30. robertj1138 February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    I think grocery stores would order less food to compensate. Would you like to have a shortage while shopping for groceries. Eventually, things would probably level out, but the would be a shock i think.

  31. KKV February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Not your business what anyone else does with food. If you care about food banks then write a check, quit waiting for or forcing someone else to do it.

    Furthermore they only get rid of expired or spoiled food. Your food bank doesn’t want rotten tomatoes and expired milk.

    Maybe you should write a check so people at the food bank can get good food instead of old food people refuse to buy.

  32. anon5401 February 12, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Sounds like a gross overstep by the government.

Leave a Reply