Shusterman hails legislation that could bolster food donations throughout the commonwealth

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – A bill that would provide food donors with legal protections for donating food in good faith passed the House today, announced state Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, who first suggested the action last session.

House Bill 187 would expand the current immunity from civil and criminal liability to explicitly apply to the donation of food that has exceeded the manufacturer’s “best by” date, but is still fit for human consumption. Shusterman said she introduced an identical bill two years ago as many people misinterpret “best by” dates as expiration dates or indicators of food safety.

“I’ve been fighting for this measure since 2019 and encouraging food donations is more important than ever as Pennsylvanians continue struggling from the economic impacts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” Shusterman said. “Too often, food that’s completely safe to eat gets thrown away because people mistake its freshness date for an expiration date. This is unacceptable as food banks throughout the commonwealth struggle to keep up with the surge in demand.”

Shusterman also introduced a House resolution last year encouraging food donations. Her resolution would both encourage food donations and recognize the importance of the federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and Pennsylvania’s Donated Food Limited Liability Act, which protect individuals who donate food in good faith from civil or criminal liability related to their food donations.

“Food waste has been a problem in our country for decades and people are still struggling to get back on their feet after COVID-19. There is no better time to address this issue and ensure that no Pennsylvanian goes hungry.”

Questions may be directed to Shusterman’s office by calling 484-200-8260 or emailing