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FAQ for Food Donors

Is there a cost to participate?

No. Food donors are not asked for a fee or expected to make a financial contribution. Participation is voluntary, and is often a cost reduction for food donors. By donating food, pounds of ‘waste’ are eliminated from trash removal expenses and donations are tax deductible. In addition, there are environmental and community benefits – truly a win-win for donors.

What are the guidelines for scheduling a pick-up?

Once you’ve registered and downloaded the ChowMatch app and been approved as a food donor, you can begin scheduling donations. Giving volunteers enough notice to arrange a pickup opportunity is the key to successful matching. Offering at least a two hour pickup window also increases the likelihood of coordinating with both volunteers and receiving organizations’ schedule.

What happens if a donation isn’t picked up?

Multiple notifications will be made the volunteer network to ensure that a timely pick up may be made, but if a match is not made – or volunteer run immediately available, donors are advised to freeze or store their contribution if they are able. FeedHV will continue to notify the network that a pick up is available.

If a donation is not picked up, the donor should contact the FeedHV administrator by email at or call 518-432-5360 x 402.  

How should food be stored and packaged, and does it need to be labeled?

For the safety of all, it is important that donated foods be stored properly prior to pick up and packaged properly in sanitized, food-safe containers provided by the donor. Original packaging, catering containers or trays with foil or plastic covers will suit. Tight wrapping and packaging also minimizes the risk of spills during transport. Prepared food needs to be labeled by the donor with the date prepared and any potential allergens. This helps not only with matching, but with safe storage and handling.

Donations made without containers must state that the volunteer must bring a container in the notes section, and specify the type of container appropriate for the donation.

Please see our Food Safety Guidelines for more on maintaining the quality of your donation. 


If you would like to print out a FeedHV donation label please visit the Resources page.

Are food donors protected from liability if someone becomes sick from eating donated food?

Yes! The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act (PUBLIC LAW 104–210—OCT. 1, 1996 110 STAT. 3011) protects food donors in good faith from being held liable in an instance where someone becomes sick from the donation. The only exception to the law is in the case of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.


Please see our Liabilities page for more on this.

Can I get volunteers to harvest from my field?

Yes. We encourage harvesting opportunities and understand the value of these contributions. Not only is this a vital service, but an agreement of good faith to respect the farmer’s land and growth. Donors can request harvesting through the Schedule Event function in ChowMatch. Harvesting by volunteers may take more time and oversight than a typical harvest, so please schedule and plan accordingly.

How do I get a tax receipt?

While the ChowMatch app does not create a tax receipt, you can access the information you need to report it for tax deductibility through the app. Please contact for further information.

What is expected after a pick-up?

Donors will receive a confirmation email after the donation is complete. Once complete, we ask that donors rate their experience with the volunteer transporter and recipient organization. Having this feedback will keep the app efficient, and provide valuable insights about participants. After that nothing further is required – though our appreciation is also offered!

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