Food Donor Liability Protection

Both state and federal laws protect donors from liability. In 1996, President Clinton signed Public Law 104-210, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, to encourage donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. The law protects donors from civil and criminal liability should a fit and wholesome product donated in good faith later cause harm to a recipient.

Wisconsin Statute 895.51, Liability Exemption: Food Donation, Sale or Distribution, also provides protection. Any person engaged in the processing, distribution or sale of food products, for profit or not for profit, who donates or sells, at a price not to exceed overhead and transportation costs, qualified food to a charitable organization or food distribution service is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to any individual caused by the qualified food donated or sold by the person.