AB 1219 (Eggman) The California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

Summary: AB 1219 will clarify and strengthen the laws that protect food donors, so that more food can go to those in need rather than into landfills. Currently many businesses are either unaware of food donor protection laws or they are unclear about some provisions of the laws.

Position & Status: CAW is a co-sponsor of the bill, along with the California Association of Food Banks.

  • Introduced February 17th, 2017
  • Passed Assembly Judiciary committee March 28th, 2017
  • Passed Assembly Appropriations committee April 26th, 2017
  • Passed Assembly Floor vote May 4th, 2017
  • Passed Senate Health committee June 21st, 2017
  • Passed Senate Judiciary committee July 11th, 2017
  • Next Step: Will be heard in Senate Appropriations committee. No date set.

Description: In 1977California became the first in the nation to enact legislation to protect good faith food donors from liability in order to encourage food donations, and soon afterwards national legislation was enacted. 

California’s retailers, restaurants, consumers, and others discard millions of tons of wholesome, surplus food, often citing fears of getting sued as their top reason for not donating the food to food banks, food pantries, and other organizations that re-distribute food to individuals in need. Meanwhile, the state faces a hunger crisis that affects one in eight Californians, including one in four children. While no business has ever been sued for donating food, many businesses either don’t know about the existing protections or cite confusing or ambiguous provisions in the law.

The California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act will strengthen the state’s food donor protection laws in order to maximize food donation. AB 1219 will make clarifications, such as food donated past the date label printed on the product is not gross negligence, this is due to the fact that many date labels on food have nothing to do with safety and are merely an indication of peak freshness. AB 1219  also extends protections to good faith donors, for example, the bill provides protections for those who donate food directly to individuals, which can help to enable the timely use of perishable food as well as make smaller quantity donations more efficient.

Read the Fact Sheet

Contact: Melissa Romero, (916) 443-5422

Contact Assemblymember Eggman

Current language, analysis, and votes


California Association of Food Banks (co-sponsor)
Californians Against Waste (co-sponsor)
California Food Policy Advocates
California Grocers Association
California League of Food Processors
California Retailers Association
California Association of Nonprofits
Community Action Agency of Butte County
Emergency Food Bank
Feeding San Diego
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano
Food Finders
Food for People
Food Forward
Food Link of Tulare County
Food Shift
Imperial Valley Food Bank
Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
Los Angeles Food Policy Council
Merced County Food Bank
Natural Resources Defense Council
Redwood Empire Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank, Orange County
Second Harvest Food Bank, San Juaquin & Stanislaus Counties
Second Harvest Food Bank, Santa Cruz County
St. Francis Center
Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
Yolo Food Bank
Yuba-Sutter Food Bank