The Good Samaritan Act

Liability – The law specifically protects YOU, the donor.

Your company will be protected from liability through The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996. View the full legislative document or read a summary of it.

“895.51 Civil liability exemption: food donation, sale or distribution

(1) In this section:

(b) “Charitable organization” means an organization the contributions to which are deductible by corporations in computing net income under s. 71.26

(c) “Food distribution service” means a program of a private nonprofit organization that provides food products directly to individuals with low incomes or that collects food products for and distributed food products to persons who provide food products directly to individuals with low incomes.

(d) “Food products” has the meaning specified in s.93.01 (6).

(e) “Qualified food” means food products that meet the standards of quality established by state law or rule or federal law and regulations, including food products that are too readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplusage or other condition, except that ‘qualified food’ does not include canned products that are leaking, swollen, dented on a seam or not airtight.

(2) Any person engaged in the processing, distribution or sale of food products, for profit or not for profit, who donates or sells, at a price not to exceed overhead and transportation costs, qualified food to a charitable organization or food distribution service is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to an individual caused by the qualified food donated or sold by the person.

(3) Any charitable organization or food distribution service which distributes free of charge qualified food to any person is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to an individual caused by the qualified food distributed by the charitable organization or food distribution service.

(4) This section does not apply if the death or injury was caused by willful or wanton acts or admissions.

History: 1981 C. 219; 1983 a. 189 s 329 (20); 1987 a. 27; 1987 a. 312 s. 17; 1989 a.
108; 1991 a. 39; 2005 a. 155”

Food Recovery Program Partners:

Food Pantry of Waukesha County
Waukesha County Department of Parks & Land Use
Waukesha County Nutrition Coalition
Waukesha County University of Wisconsin-Extension