Large-Scale Food Donations

Large-scale food donations

By making large-scale food donations, local food companies can save money, reduce waste and help those in need. We receive millions of pounds of food from local businesses, which help us feed about 500,000 people on average every month.

A large-scale food donation is not a canned food drive or items collected from the public. Our canned food drive program has ended, and collection barrels are no longer available. The best way to support our mission is to start a virtual food drive.

Large-scale food donors include:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Growers and packers
  • Schools and institutions
  • Food transportation companies

We provide healthy food to our clients. Please avoid donating candy or sugar-sweetened beverages. We do accept 100% juice.

Benefits of donating

  • Save money on dumping and disposal fees
  • Reduce waste and increase sustainability
  • Receive a tax deduction (consult with your tax advisor)
  • Increase warehouse space or save on storage charges
  • Expand company visibility through partnership opportunities

Protecting our partners

To encourage companies to donate healthy food that would otherwise go to waste, the government instituted the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act to protect donors from criminal and civil liability:

  • Protects donors from liability when donating to a nonprofit organization like Second Harvest
  • Protects donors from civil and criminal liability if the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the recipient
  • Standardizes donor liability exposure so donors and their legal counsel do not need to investigate liability laws in 50 states

For more information, refer to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

Donor information

Please be prepared to provide the following information prior to donating:

  • Company name, mailing address, contact name and phone number.
  • Reason for donation (surplus, approaching code date, inventory, salvage, quality control).
  • Product description and storage requirements (dry, refrigerated, frozen, fresh).
  • Packaging details (case and package size).
  • Number of units, pounds, cases, pallets.
  • Is the product labeled with ingredient list?
  • Code date information (date printed on the individual package or carton).

How food donation works

  • Contact the Food Sourcing Department to schedule a pickup. Note that we require a minimum of 400 pounds to justify the cost of sending a truck.
  • Donations can also be delivered directly to one of our three warehouse locations.
  • Donations are received into our inventory system and safely stored in our freezer, cooler or dry storage.
  • Donations are distributed to our more than 300 nonprofit partner agencies and direct-service programs.

How to become a donor

Call 408-266-8866, ext. 102 or email