Help others, reduce food waste. Donate!

When you donate food, it goes to people who need it—not the landfill.

Hands holding a box full of food for donation, including apples, bananas and canned goods
Three arms reaching up holding packaged food that can be donated.

Give back to your community

  1. Find an emergency food organization near you
  2. Put together items you want to donate. Even a few things go a long way.
  3. Establish a regular drop off schedule and ask the pantry what food items clients need most.
  4. Volunteer!
  5. Launch a food drive where you work or live.

Food donation basics

Do donate:

  • Fresh produce: both home-grown and purchased.
  • Foods prepared by licensed food establishments or in donor kitchens.
  • Shelf-stable foods.
  • Foods from licensed processors.
  • Check with your local food pantry for more specifics.

Don't donate:

  • Foods with safety concerns.
  • Foods in soiled, torn, open, or rusted containers.
  • Home-prepared foods (except baked goods).
  • Foods with an “off” odor.
  • Perishable foods past a “Use By” date, unless frozen.

If you can't donate, consider reuse options, like recipes or freezing.
If the item is spoiled, don't eat it.

Donate food in your community

Use Washington 211 to contact an emergency food organization near you.

Illustration of food cans, boxes, and containers awaiting donation.

What other options do I have for unavoidable surplus food?

Checklist of foods to donate on a clipboard

Prevent wasted food

Plan like a pro with these tips and guides!

Learn more
Illustration of a green bag of chicken feed with yellow feed visible at top

Help farmers

Turn wasted food into animal feed.

Feed the animals
Illustration of plants and food for compost bin


Be a climate hero!

Learn to compost

Now you're really helping. Here are more ways to reduce waste.