Donate Food

 

Donation Guidelines

City Harvest has strict food safety guidelines for the food that we accept. We gratefully accept perishable and prepared foods maintained in safe temperature zones and chilled or frozen before being donated. Donated food must be prepared by a regulated or licensed food business, such as a restaurant, caterer, wholesaler or bakery. Donated food must exclude foods previously served to the public.

Prepared Foods

Preferred Packaging:
Packaged separately, securely closed, avoid spillage

Storage Conditions**:
Chilled, 40°F or less, frozen, 0°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Mixing food types e.g. meats and side dishes

Prepared Foods: Sandwiches

Preferred Packaging:
Wrapped in clear plastic, wrap or foil

Storage Conditions**:
Chilled, 40°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Mixing food types e.g. meats and side dishes

Baked Goods: Fresh or day-old bread and/or bagels

Preferred Packaging:
Must use City Harvest bags and be kept separate from other baked goods

Storage Conditions**:
Cool, dry area

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Stale/hard

Baked Goods: Muffins, Pastries cookies

Preferred Packaging:
Pack in own paper boxes avoid crumbling

Storage Conditions**:
Cool, dry area

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Stale/hard bread

Prepackaged Foods: Perishables

Preferred Packaging:
Packaged separately, securely closed

Storage Conditions**:
Chilled, 40°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Opened, punctured, bulging or damaged packaging

Prepackaged Foods: Non-perishable
(mislabeled-ok with proper notification)

Preferred Packaging:
Packaged separately, securely closed

Storage Conditions**:
Cool, dry area

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Opened, punctured, bulging or damaged packaging

Frozen: Dairy, Pastries Factory-prepared

Preferred Packaging:
Packaged separately, securely closed

Storage Conditions**:
Frozen, 0°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Defrosted, punctured, opened or damaged packaging, severe freezer burn

Frozen: Vegetables, Meat, Poultry, Fish

Preferred Packaging:
Packaged separately, securely closed

Storage Conditions**:
Frozen, 0°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Defrosted or damaged packaging, severe freezer burn

Frozen: Dairy

Preferred Packaging:
Individually wrapped clear plastic wrap

Storage Conditions**:
Refrigerated at all times

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Damaged packaging

Frozen: Milk

Preferred Packaging:
Securely closed

Storage Conditions**:
Refrigerated at all times, 40°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Damaged packaging

Frozen: Meat, Poultry, Fish (Fresh)

Preferred Packaging:
Original packaging, clear plastic wrap, City Harvest logo bags

Storage Conditions**:
Refrigerated at all times, 40°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Strong odor, discoloration

Fresh Produce: Whole

Preferred Packaging:
Bag or carton

Storage Conditions**:
Cool, dry area

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Significant decay

Fresh Produce: Chopped

Preferred Packaging:
Bag each vegetable stored separately

Storage Conditions**:
Chilled, 40°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Color change or decay

Beverages: Perishable

Preferred Packaging:
Securely closed bag or carton

Storage Conditions**:
Chilled, 40°F or less

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Alcohol not accepted

Beverages: Non-Perishable

Preferred Packaging:
Bag or carton

Storage Conditions**:
Cool, dry, unopened

Non-Acceptable Conditions***:
Opened, punctured, bulging

 


 

More information

Packaging: City Harvest supplies clear, food grade bags for food donation use. If you are able to provide your own disposable packaging for donations that require more than plastic bags, you help City Harvest use its resources most effectively. However, we don't want packaging to get in the way of your good intentions. Call us at 646.412.0600.

** Chilled perishable food should be below 40°F except during necessary times of preparation or while being held for service which may not exceed two hours.
*** We do not accept any products that contain alcohol.