Author Topic: Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses  (Read 2271 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses
« on: January 06, 2006, 05:02:00 PM »
January 6, 2006: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the nation's largest food retailer, said Thursday it will no longer donate nearly-expired or expired food to local groups feeding the hungry.

Instead, that food will be thrown away, a move several Sacramento charities consider wasteful.

Olan James, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said the policy, which applies to all 1,224 Wal-Marts, 1,929 Supercenters and 558 Sam's Clubs, is an attempt to protect the corporation from liability in case someone who eats the donated food gets sick.

"We can't guarantee the safety of the merchandise, and consumer safety is our top priority," said James in a telephone interview from Wal-Mart headquarters in Arkansas.

Most charities get their food from an array of sources, and they say the loss of Wal-Mart or Sam's Club donations won't make a huge dent in their stockpiles. But as increasingly efficient grocery stores have less to donate, charities worry the stream of food donations from grocers is diminishing.

"If they were giving it away somewhere else that wouldn't be so bad, but the fact is, it's going into the garbage," said Owen Foley of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Locker at Presentation Church in Sacramento. "I mean, there's a big need."

Foley said the breads, pies and cakes his group received from the Sam's Club on El Camino Avenue helped round out the meals served to more than 900 families last year.

Ernie Brown, a spokesman for Sacramento's Senior Gleaners, which received about 25,000 pounds of food in 2005 from Sam's Club on Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights, said most food is fine to eat for days after the "sell-by" date.

He said Wal-Mart's concerns about liability seem misplaced in light of the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, a federal law passed in 1996 offering food donors wide-ranging protections from civil lawsuits or criminal prosecution. The law states that donors can be held liable only in instances of "gross negligence."

"Lord, we get millions and millions of pounds from Raley's and Bel-Air and Albertson's, and they don't have a problem understanding the law," Brown said. "Why don't Wal-Mart and Sam's Club understand the law?"


James said he is not aware of anybody suing Wal-Mart after getting sick from donated food.

source: http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/stor ... 4591c.html (registration required)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2006, 05:07:00 PM »
Rainbow curbs food shelf donations
by Jeff Horwich, Minnesota Public Radio
December 13, 2004

This month, food shelves around the Twin Cities find themselves short thousands of pounds of fruits, vegetables, and bread they had expected. Rainbow Foods, one of the state's largest grocery chains, abruptly stopped donating its leftover produce and day-old baked goods to food shelves. The chain's corporate owner, Roundy's, is reportedly concerned about the legal liability of donating food that is slightly past its prime.

St. Paul, Minn. ? For at least five years, Rainbow has donated to food shelves around the Twin Cities, including one run by the Bloomington community group Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People.

"It was a very important pickup for us," said Christine Pulver, the group's food shelf manager. "Three days a week I would send a courier over to pick up bakery goods and/or produce. That would be anywhere from 500 to 1,000 pounds a week."

The food shelf distributes about 70,000 pounds of food each month. Pulver says the Rainbow donations brought in a significant portion of the fruits, vegetables and breads given out to families.

"We would receive the produce they were clearing off their shelves -- things that were looking just past prime," she said. "We would sort out and bag the good items for the clients here. The baked goods we would receive on their sell-by date, so they were still quite usable."



Roundy's, which owns Minnesota's 30 Rainbow stores, is reportedly not so confident the food is safe. A spokeswoman at the Milwaukee-based company did not return multiple calls on Monday. But according to Pulver, the bakery manager at her local Rainbow told her the donations halted this month as a result of a corporate memo. The memo suggested Roundy's was concerned about a potential or actual lawsuit as a result of giving out slightly old food.

Minnesota's top food safety official is not sure what Roundy's might be concerned about.

"I just don't see it as an issue from a food safety standpoint at all," said Kevin Elfering, state Agriculture Department's director of dairy, food and meat inspection.

Elfering's office inspects the produce and other offerings at Minnesota's food shelves. To his knowledge, inspectors have never found a problem.

"Produce products and bakery products are not typically associated with any concern about foodborne illness because they're old," he said. "They're either contaminated or they're not."

By that, Elfering means food shelf fruits and vegetables are subject to the same risk of bacteria or other contamination as the produce in a grocery store. He says the fact that produce in a food pantry is slightly older has never been known to cause major illness. As long as grocery stores are not passing along items customers have returned, Elfering sees no problem with the practice.

Even in the event of a lawsuit, Roundy's could be protected by Minnesota's "Good Samaritan" law. An official with the Minnesota Health Department says the law would probably shield the company as long as it did not knowingly donate dangerous product. Christine Pulver, who runs the Bloomington food shelf, agrees.

"If there would be any liability, it would probably be against the food shelf if they held onto a donation too long before distributing to a client," Pulver said.

Pulver says her produce and bakery donations continue from other grocery chains, including Cub Foods and Byerly's.

But the policy change at Roundy's comes at a difficult time. The Emergency Food Shelf Network helps coordinate 60 food shelves in Minnesota and runs a number of food donation programs. The group's Marc Ratner says donations this year are down 25 percent.

"Food shelves usually rely on summer donations to help carry them into the holiday season. What we've seen is that donations have been down throughout the summer," Ratner said. "As a result, these food shelves are essentially running on empty into the holiday season."

Ratner says his group's direct partnership with Roundy's, called the Rainbow Initiative, will continue. The program allows Rainbow shoppers to purchase prepackaged bags of nonperishable foods and donate them on-the-spot.

A food workers' union representative who was able to reach someone at Roundy's says the company referred him to its giving through the Roundy's Foundation. According to a brief statement on the company Web site, the foundation focuses on family development, education, and hunger relief.

http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/f ... nbowfoods/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline webcrawler

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Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2006, 09:14:00 PM »
This is pretty sad to hear. I am in charge of an emergency food pantry and we do get a lot of food rescued from stores. Yogurt is good 14 days after the sell by date, cheese 10 days, milk 7 days (unopened), baked goods at least a week after the sell by date if they have perservatives, and expired cans 6 months after the date (although I still pitch the cans).

The govt. has drastically reduced USDA foods and we have been struggling for a couple years to keep our pantry full of good food.

I suppose I better get to writing Wal-Mart a letter...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
am looking for people who survived Straight in Plymouth, Michigan. I miss a lot of people there and wonder what happened and would like to stay in touch.

Offline TheWho

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Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2006, 09:28:00 PM »
Its the insurance companys and lawyers we should be writing.
I stopped donating because my neighbor got sued  when a toaster he donated caught fire.

Its not that Walmart has been sued, its because they are exposed to law suits if they give stuff away that isnt 100%, not 99%.  If they know its 99% they are libel.
Judges award millions of dollars to people for just getting food poisoning, what do you think would happen if a person died because a can wasnt labled and the guy had a peanut allergy?
He would own the company (or his family would).

The laws need to be changed, dont blame the companies, Waste Management charges them for hauling it to the dump, they would rather give it to the poor, but they cant.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2006, 09:33:00 PM »
What about this law?


The Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
P.L. 104-210

"An act to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals."
 

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act is a new federal law which protects those who donate food in good faith from civil or criminal liability should such donated food later cause harm to a recipient. Liability protection is not extended to donors in instances of gross negligence (defined) or intentional misconduct.

What does the new law do?

The new Good Samaritan Food Donation Act provides a uniform, national standard of liability protection to individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations that act in good faith to donate and distribute food to needy people. The new Good Sam Act converts the Model Act into permanent law and preempts existing State Good Sam statutes. Previously, the Model Act was used by each of the fifty states to develop their own versions of product liability protection for food donors. Every state had Good Sam legislation, but varied in degree of coverage, including the types of food covered, definitions of donors, good faith, and limit of protection. The new Good Sam law standardizes the liability exposure of donors and non-profits.

What is the liability limit?

The Good Sam law sets a liability floor of "gross negligence" for persons who donate food. 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."

If product is past code, or close to code, is there still protection?

The Congress recognized that the provision of food that is close to the date of recommended retail sale is, in and of itself, not grounds for finding gross negligence. Instead gross negligence of a donor should depend upon many factors. For example, the type of food involved in the donation impacts on whether or not the action constitutes gross negligence. A box of cereal that is donated just before or just after the code date for retail sale would be perfectly safe for consumption and thus protected by the new Good Sam law.


1The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, P.L. 104-210. Enacted 10/1/96 and transferred to Sec. 22 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

Please see House Report 104-661. It is recommended that donors consult counsel before making a determination of liability protection under the new Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

http://www.foodbankwma.org/goodSamaritanAct.htm
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline TheWho

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Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2006, 09:40:00 PM »
Quote
On 2006-01-06 18:33:00, Anonymous wrote:

"What about this law?





The Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

P.L. 104-210



"An act to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals."

 



The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act is a new federal law which protects those who donate food in good faith from civil or criminal liability should such donated food later cause harm to a recipient. Liability protection is not extended to donors in instances of gross negligence (defined) or intentional misconduct.



What does the new law do?



The new Good Samaritan Food Donation Act provides a uniform, national standard of liability protection to individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations that act in good faith to donate and distribute food to needy people. The new Good Sam Act converts the Model Act into permanent law and preempts existing State Good Sam statutes. Previously, the Model Act was used by each of the fifty states to develop their own versions of product liability protection for food donors. Every state had Good Sam legislation, but varied in degree of coverage, including the types of food covered, definitions of donors, good faith, and limit of protection. The new Good Sam law standardizes the liability exposure of donors and non-profits.



What is the liability limit?



The Good Sam law sets a liability floor of "gross negligence" for persons who donate food. 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."



If product is past code, or close to code, is there still protection?



The Congress recognized that the provision of food that is close to the date of recommended retail sale is, in and of itself, not grounds for finding gross negligence. Instead gross negligence of a donor should depend upon many factors. For example, the type of food involved in the donation impacts on whether or not the action constitutes gross negligence. A box of cereal that is donated just before or just after the code date for retail sale would be perfectly safe for consumption and thus protected by the new Good Sam law.





1The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, P.L. 104-210. Enacted 10/1/96 and transferred to Sec. 22 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.



Please see House Report 104-661. It is recommended that donors consult counsel before making a determination of liability protection under the new Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.



http://www.foodbankwma.org/goodSamaritanAct.htm



"


Sounds reasonable to me, maybe there is a loop hole, I am not a lawyer.  All I know is people and corporations are willing to donate money but anything else, no way, if they get hurt, you pay big.
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Offline bandit1978

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Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2006, 01:09:00 PM »
Wal-mart is a huge company...hugely unpopular, anyway.  They are just a sitting duck, a prime target for any lawyer looking to put that Good Samaritin law to the test.  

I hate Wal-mart, and refuse to shop there.  But I understand that they must protect themselves from the letigenous nature of Americans.  

At my place of work, so much of what we do is about preventing or protecting ourselves from lawsuits.  That really must be our first priority, sadly.
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Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, chooses
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2006, 02:21:00 PM »
Yeah when I read these, at first I was kind of badmouthing walmart, but they are just a part in a larger system of fuckedupness. A system that has somehow morphed into a world where we throw away food, still a child dies every five seconds from hunger. It'd be nice if future generations at least move towards a more positive direction. You'd think.  

The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.
--William Safire

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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Wal-Mart to stop donating expired food to homeless, choo
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011, 10:11:12 PM »
Thats so messed up for people to think its okay to give expired to the homeless. Walmart makes lots of money to buy more food, throwing it away shouldnt be that harmful to them.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »