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Sunday Brunch Volunteer | Liability

In 2012, Houston’s City Council adopted Charitable Feeding Ordinance 2012-269 which subjects charitable feeding groups to significant pecuniary penalties for distributing food to more than five people without being in strict compliance with the statute.  In order to comply with the ordinance, food service organizations must register very specific information with the City of Houston, at least one person distributing food must be certified by the Houston Health Department as having attended food handling training, and the organization must obtain written consent from the property owner prior to providing food service.

Direct HOPE is pleased to announce that it is one of only a handful of charitable street feeding organization that are in compliance with Houston’s Charitable Feeding Ordinance, so all of our volunteers can participate in Sunday Brunches without being concerned about the adverse legal ramifications of  the statute. The text of Charitable Feeding Ordinance 2012-269 can be found below.

Find the text of  the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (1996) and The Good Faith Donor Act (1981) below:


Unfortunately, many potential food donors are under the misconception that they will incur liability if they donate prepared or perishable foods to the public and someone becomes ill. However, the government recognized the need to repurpose food and groceries that would otherwise go to waste while people go hungry, so they passed legislation, at both the federal and state levels which shield food donors from civil and criminal liability so long as the food was safe for consumption at the time that the food was donated.  

Find the text of  the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (1996) and The Good Faith Donor Act (1981) below.

Food Donor | Liability

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