Detroit to partner with local restaurants, Forgotten Harvest to donate surplus food amid coronavirus outbreak

‘Food Rescue’ program will share leftover food with residents


DETROIT – The city of Detroit is partnering with Forgotten Harvest and local restaurants to acquire surplus food and distribute to those in need amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Michigan.

With restaurants closing due to Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s executive order to prevent the spread of the virus, the city of Detroit wants to ensure no food goes to waste by accepting donations of surplus foods. Donations will be shared with local agencies to distribute to residents in need.

Food donations will unlock tax deductions for participating restaurants in addition to providing for the community, officials said. Organizers are seeking food that will perish due to the restaurant closures and social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak, according to officials.

Beginning Thursday the city is accepting donations of surplus food waste from restaurants that are able to transport the food to nearby agencies.

Interested restaurants can learn more information and fill out a form here. Businesses will receive an email with instructions after submitting a form.

According to officials, restaurants with over 500 pounds to donate can coordinate transportation services with Forgotten Harvest. Those under 500 pounds with an inability to transport can also coordinate transportation services, and need to identify as such on their form.

Acceptable Food Rescue Donations

  • Prepared food that is:
    • Prepared less than 4 days from today’s date
    • In foil pan with either secured foil lid or covered in film wrap with foil on top
    • Properly labeled
    • Properly cooled
  • Perishable/non-prepared food must be refrigerated at 41°F or below
  • Any non-perishable food with labels and packaging intact

Food that cannot be donated

  • Food that is open, left out for sampling or not properly cooled
  • Any fish or seafood (raw or frozen)
  • Uncooked or unfrozen protein
  • Open cut produce
  • Non-frozen prepared food that is 4 days or older

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