Food Donations

Food Donations

april 2013

sarah a.


Amidst recent articles in the news about food donations from restaurants and grocers

leaving recipients ill and in some severe cases, hospitalized, talk has been arising

about food donations laws and the responsibility put upon the vendor. While most

believe that it is the responsibility of the vendor for the wellbeing of the

recipient, a recent look at the Food Donations Act of Ontario reveals this is not

the case.


Created in 1994, the Food Donations Act states that the vendor who distributes

donated food is not liable for any potential damages that result from the

consumption of the food unless the donated food was rotten or intended to harm the

recipient. Furthermore, the charitable organization that donates the food is also

not liable unless the food was rotten or the organization did not act in good



In many cases, a bad reaction to a certain food on an individual level does not

leave the donator liable, and when taken to court, the donator will be found not

guilty. Unless the food donated was clearly beyond its date of safe consumption, the

donator has no responsibility toward the recipient. With so many amazing

organizations donating leftover food to the homeless in Toronto, one negative news

story can have the ability to tarnish the reputation of the industry as a whole. It is

vital that as community members, we look past these few instances and continue to

support the donation of food to the less fortunate around us.


If you are interested in donating food and goods in the Toronto area, many

organizations like Fork It Over! Metro’s food donation program, the Daily Bread Food

Bank, and the Food Donation Connection are always looking for support. Many of these

organizations are currently in partnership with the National Restaurant Association,

which represents popular food vendors like The Cheesecake Factory, Pizza Hut, KFC,

Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Taco Bell.


For more information, please visit