How to Donate Food to a Charity After Your Party

How to Donate Food to a Charity After Your Party

It’s 1 am. Your guests are leaving after an evening of good food, dancing and general merry-making. The party was a success. All of your planning has paid off. But there is one more thing: the left over food. Maybe your caterer brought a little extra (as many do) to accommodate healthier-than-expected appetites or maybe your guests danced more than they ate. Whatever the reason, the kitchen is full of food. What should you do?

Some people ask their caterer to pack up the left overs for their guests to take home but we have another idea: make a charitable donation. There are shelters, food banks and non profit organizations that will take cooked food donations and their residents will welcome a change in their daily culinary pace. If this sounds like an option for you, read on.

A month or so before your party, call a few organizations in your area or ask your caterer if they already work with an organization. Ideally, you want an organization that will pick up the donated food on the night of the party from the party location. The next best option is for the organization to pick up the donated food from your caterer’s place of business that night or the next day. Of course, you’ll need to check with your caterer before you make this arrangement. Once you identify the organization, tell your caterer your plan, put them in touch with the organization to iron out the details and ask your planner to be the day-of point person for the donation. If the organization is tax exempt, don’t forget to get a tax deduction letter for your in-kind donation a week or so after the donation.*

Donating food is more convenient for you because you don’t have to take anything with you after the party, it’s better for the environment because the food is not thrown out and it’s great for the recipients (who doesn’t love delicious food). This is a true win-win-win.

Happy Planning!

*Of course, consult with your tax professional before you make any final arrangements.

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  • Melanie Martin
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