Food Industry

The Food Industry is key to solving Western Washington’s hunger logistics problem.

Flow of Donated Food If you find yourself with excess, usable food and product, Food Lifeline can make it easy for you to do good. We’ll handle all the logistics for you: collecting the food, tracking it, repackaging it and handling all the regulations and safety issues. This means you can reduce waste, and help feed people at the same time without having to worry about quality being compromised.

When you donate food to Food Lifeline, your company benefits in many ways, including:

You prevent people going hungry.

You demonstrate to customers and employees that you are a caring organization.

You have a hassle-free and tax-advantaged way to redirect good food that would otherwise go to the landfill.

Food Donation Programs

Food Lifeline makes it easy for you to donate food. Whether you are a restaurant with surplus food or a food company with distressed products, we can handle donations of any size.

Full Plate: works with national, regional and local food donors collecting large-scale perishable and non-perishable food donations for distribution. Partnering with manufacturers, distributors, processors, growers, and farmers, this program generates an average of 2 semi-truckloads of food per business day.

Grocery Rescue: Local grocery stores can donate perishable product and shelf-stable product, including produce, dairy, meat, bakery and dry items. Food Lifeline and members of our food program network will pick up donations at the retailers location and distribute.  

Seattle's Table: Restaurants, hotels, caterers, and other local food service providers can donate surplus prepared food. Food Lifeline will go to your location, pick up your surplus food, and deliver it the same day to various meal programs in King County.

How We Do It

Food Lifeline drivers make sure your donation is well cared for.Product Recovery: Food Lifeline provides Product Recovery in our Hunger Solution Center. Teams sort and evaluate food donations to determine if the product is safe and to ready it for distribution. Items include dry and canned food, as well as household and personal items received from local retailers and community food drives.

Rework and Repack: Food Lifeline can receive bulk donations from manufacturers and local retailers. To ensure this product gets to food banks and meal programs throughout Western Washington, Food Lifeline enlists staff and thousands of community volunteers each year to efficiently sort, evaluate, and package a variety of food into smaller sized portions before it is distributed to agencies.

Benefits of Donating

  • On-call pick-ups with professional drivers
  • Tax credits, not dump fees
  • Timely, electronic receipting
  • Safe-food handling, including product traceability
  • Protection from liability (Learn more about the Good Samaritan Laws)
  • A reliable zero-waste partner
  • An efficient and effective way to help your community

Donate Your Unmarketable Food

We accept food donations from all elements of the food industry:

Distressed Products

  • Production overruns
  • Off-specification products
  • Short-dated products
  • Reformulations
  • Mislabeled or unlabeled packages
  • Private-label brands
  • Discontinued brands
  • Salvage
  • Shipping errors

Prepared Foods

If you are a food service provider, then we can pick up your surplus food. Typical donors include: local restaurants, caterers, corporate dining rooms, cafeterias, hotels, convention centers, hospitals, retailers, airlines, vending companies, and others.

Perishable Foods

Food Lifeline also accepts perishable foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and frozen foods.

Donations from the food industry make up 85% of the food we distribute to food assistance programs in Western Washington.

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