Health Department

Food, Lodging & Pools
Public Service Center
250 S. 4th St., Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Food Donations

Donating prepared, unserved food is legal.

Businesses and organizations that donate food in good faith are protected by law and receive a tax deduction.

Food Donation Guidelines brochure

Food Donation Tracking form

Do you have food to donate? 

The unprecedented closure of dine-in food service has some businesses looking for ways to donate food before it spoils. Two programs collecting perishable are Minnesota Central Kitchen and Second Harvest Heartland's Meal Connect. 

If you have food that cannot be donated, consider using a food-to-animal or organics composting program.

Minnesota Central Kitchen

Minnesota Central Kitchen is a new partnership by Chowgirls Killer Catering, Second Harvest Heartland and Loaves and Fishes. The partnership feeds community members who are experiencing hunger. Other restaurants helping with these efforts are Restaurant Alma and The Bachelor Farmer with more to come.

Meal Connect

Donating meals for kids

Is your restaurant offering free meals for kids during COVID-19? Submit your information to the Hunger Solutions map of meals for kids during COVID-19 school closures.

You are protected from liability

Businesses and organizations that donate food in good faith to a nonprofit for distribution to needy individuals are not subject to civil or criminal liability that arises from the condition of the food.

Food donors are protected by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Act, which was passed into federal law in 1996.

Save money on your taxes

The federal tax code allows a deduction for donated food. Eligible businesses can deduct the lesser of either:

Contact your tax professional to determine its application to your business.

Help your community and the environment

Donating surplus prepared food helps local hunger-relief agencies serve those in need, including many children and seniors.

In the United States, as much as 40 percent of food produced for people to eat is wasted along the food chain. 11 percent of Minnesotans don’t have a steady supply of food to their tables.

Food Safety

Learn how to keep the food you donate safe in the Food Donation Guidelines brochure.

Visit the Food Safety page for more food safety resources.


Minneapolis Health Department LogoShould you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

Last updated Jul 1, 2020



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For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-263-6850.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

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