Food Donation & Recovery
A visionary program of The Stewpot
Since 2014, The Stewpot has taken steps to be a leader in Food Recovery efforts in North Texas. Food recovery is the practice of preventing surplus edible food from ending up in the dumpster or landfill and instead being rescued to serve to those who are hungry. Since 2018, The Stewpot has reclaimed over 160,000 lbs of food from a variety of community partners.
In 1975, The Stewpot of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas began serving meals to our homeless and at-risk neighbors in Downtown Dallas. In December of 2018, The Stewpot celebrated its 8,000,000 meal served!
Why food recovery?
Recovered foods allow The Stewpot to prioritize our purchasing to fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and leaner proteins. This provides the opportunity to prepare more items from scratch in our kitchens so that we may fuel our diners in a health conscious manner, taking into account diabetes, hypertension, dental issues, as well as mental health diagnoses, which are prevalent among our homeless and at-risk neighbors.
Who is eligible to donate food?
We receive donations from corporations, small businesses, convention centers, hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, and others. Community partners include Central Market, Pecan Lodge, Tom Thumb, Whole Foods, Royal Blue Grocer, 7-11 Test Kitchen, Einstein Bagels, Bimbo Industries, Lockhart BBQ, The Dallas Convention Center, TGI-Fridays Test Kitchen, Savory Avery Pop Corn, Padrino Foods, Amorino Gelato and many others.
Is it legal?
The food recovery efforts of our partners as well as the efforts of The Stewpot are protected by The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996 that ‘exempts those who make good faith donations of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry from liability for injuries arising from the consumption of the donated food’ as well as ‘a nonprofit organization shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food or an apparently fit grocery product that the nonprofit received as a donation.’ This Act has green-lighted an increase in partnerships, healthy food being served, and reduced food waste in our landfills.
Is it safe?
Protections are taken as donations are received including logging temperatures, holding the food appropriately, and asking questions of the donor about food handling practices at their site.
Want to find out if your food is eligible as a food recovery donation?
Scroll down to check out the QUICK FACT CHECK section.
QUICK FACT CHECK
Is the food within its “Use By” date?
We apologize but we are unable to accept any food donations that are past their posted expiration date.
Has the food been prepared within the last 5 days?
We can only accept donated food that has been recently prepared.
Was the food prepared in a commercial kitchen?
While we love Grandma’s cooking just as much as you do, in order to comply with food recovery laws, acceptable donations must have been prepared in a commercial kitchen. The Stewpot focuses most heavily on the rescue of prepared foods in larger quantities.
Has the food been maintained at the proper temperature?
Cold food items must be stored under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot food items must be kept at a temperature greater than 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the donation includes animal products, were the animal products bred for consumption?
We can only accept domesticated animal products raised in an agricultural setting and bred for human consumption. This means we are unable to accept your personal hunted wild game such as deer, duck, boar, and wild caught fish.
Are you able to transport the food to The Stewpot?
While we are able to pick up certain food items, due to limited resources with our transportation truck, we prefer to have donations dropped off. Many of our partners take on an increased amount of work and sometimes direct costs to be able to forward leftovers to The Stewpot. Please contact a member of our food recovery team to coordinate donation drop-offs/pick-ups.
If you answered YES to all of the questions above, your food donation may be eligible for
Ready to Donate? Still have Questions? Contact Us
Once you have spoken to a member of our food recovery team your food donation can be coordinated for drop off. Items will be received Mondays through Fridays (except holidays) between 8:00AM and 3:00PM at