What is the Sharing Fridge and what is its purpose?
The Sharing Fridge is an actual refrigerator, located at the exterior of Salem United Methodist Church in Conway. The purpose of the Sharing Fridge is to feed folks who are food-insecure with food that might otherwise go uneaten.
How does that work?
It is estimated that 40% of the food in the United States never gets eaten, while 1 out of 6 Americans are food-insecure (National Resources Defense Council, 2012). We’d like you to partner with us to reduce both of those percentages. Individuals, restaurants, churches, day care centers, grocery stores, and any other group which prepares food and has a surplus may take their extra food to the refrigerator, located under the lighted, covered walkway of the Fellowship Hall, the building at the back of the Salem UMC campus. Individuals who would like to take the food home with them may come and take it 24 hours a day. It’s a winning situation for all involved.
But don’t you have to worry about legalities involved in sharing food?
No, we don’t. Neither you, nor we, are liable if we simply share food, unless there was malicious intent. We are protected by a federal law, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (1996) See: http://www.feedingamerica.org/ways-to-give/give-food/become-a-product-partner/protecting-our-food-partners.html for details.
What should we do if we want to share?
It’s not necessary that you contact anyone, though you may wish to talk to someone at Salem UMC. Our number is 501.327.2884. If no one answers, feel free to leave a message. All that is necessary is that you package your edible food sanitarily, then put the name of the food* and its prepared date on the exterior of the packaging. We will have stickers and writing utensils available at the Sharing Fridge. Just leave your food in the fridge or the freezer section. Then smile, knowing you’ve helped someone who is hungry.
Are there tax benefits for my organization?
Yes, there are new laws that make it more advantageous for groups to donate food that otherwise would no longer be sold, if it is edible. For more information, see: http://healthyfoodbankhub.feedingamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/mp/files/tool_and_resources/files/feeding-america-2016-food-donation-tax-law-changes.pdf See your tax advisor for complete details. As a church, Salem UMC is a 501(c)(3) organization.
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