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Donating food during the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis
In these unprecedented times, we want to work with you to support your community, while also avoiding the unnecessary loss of food and related goods. Businesses may also consider donating a certain portion of food or supplies to the community during the response efforts. For those businesses in a position to safely donate food to employees or hunger relief organizations, here are some guidelines and resources.
Guidelines and resources for donating food
Continue keeping the health and safety of community members at the forefront of all decision making about what to do with excess food. Public health and food safety, particularly for vulnerable communities, is the highest priority. Maintaining social distancing guidance, following Oregon Health Authority guidance for employers, implementing the CDC guidelines for cleaning surfaces and hand hygiene and practicing proper food safety are the key standards that must be kept to ensure your food safely gets to community members.
Where possible, first consider providing excess food to your employees or employees of neighboring businesses.
Businesses that donate food, in good faith, are protected by the Good Samaritan Act, and are also eligible for a federal tax deduction (see Oregon Food Bank’s information on tax deductions). Work with your accountant or business manager for financial advice.
Donations to Oregon Food Bank Portland Metro area locations (NE Portland and Beaverton)
If you have food or other donations to share out with the community please fill in this Oregon Food Bank form. Oregon Food Bank is serving as the regional hub for food and supply donations in the Portland Metro area through the COVID-19 response. They will work to review each donation against current capacity and resource constraints and will look for ways to connect donations with local hunger relief organizations.
Currently being accepted:
- Food: Packaged produce, distribution ready-packaged goods (on a case by case basis) and frozen bulk fruits and vegetables as long as they can be received into outside storage for repacking at a later date.
- Boxes: Boxes of any size in quantity. 12”x12”x16” preferred or boxes that vary a couple inches from this size. NOTE: These are being loaded with food and palletized, hence the need for consistent sizing.
- Sealable to-go containers, any size.
Questions: Oregon Food Bank, 503-419-4169, [email protected]
Meal sites in Portland Metro
There are limited sites in the Portland Metro region that are serving members of the houseless community and that are accepting all types of donations, including cooked/prepared foods. They also have a great need for to-go containers. Please access Oregon Food Bank’s Food Finder to get the most up to date information on meal sites in your area that may be able to accept your donation.
Other hunger relief organizations across Oregon
To connect with donation agencies outside the Portland Metro region contact your regional food bank via Oregon Food Bank’s Statewide Network page, or contact local government staff whose contact information is listed below.
Local government contacts in Portland Metro region
City of Beaverton
City of Gresham
City of Portland
Local government contacts outside Portland Metro region
City of Bend
City of Ashland
Ashland Emergency Food Bank
City of Tillamook
Mis Carlson-Swanson, OFB Branch Services Manager
NW Oregon, including North Coast
Lexi Meek, Oregon DEQ
Southern Oregon, including South Coast
Cathy Brown, DEQ Western Region
General food donation guidelines
While steps can be taken to plan and prepare food carefully, sometimes leftovers and unused ingredients are inevitable. Food banks, pantries and meal sites can take some donations.
Oregon consistently ranks among the top states in the nation for food insecurity - the inconsistent access to safe, nutritious food. By donating your surplus food you will feed people who experience hunger, preserve the resources that went into making the food and boost employee morale. Food banks welcome whole ingredients or factory packaged items with ingredient lists. Other organizations and meal sites are able to take prepared foods produced by your kitchen. Food donations may also be tax-deductible under certain circumstances.