Take Out Hunger

Take Out Hunger is a food donations initiative by Harris County Public Health, powered by PHI LAB.

Our mission is to reduce hunger and food insecurity in Harris County by providing food safety education to food establishments and increase food donation activity safely.

Together we can safely donate good, excess food to those most in need and decrease food waste. Whether you are a food donor, food assistance organization, or volunteer, Take Out Hunger is here to help you get started on this mission!

For more information, contact: Program Coordinator Donations@phs.hctx.net
Phone: 713.274.6445
Fax: 713.274.6375


Environmental Public Health
101 S. Richey Suite G
Pasadena, TX 77506

About

The Problem

Each year, about 40% of the food that is produced in the U.S. ends up in the landfill 
(Source: Feeding America).

What a Waste! Much of this wasted food takes place at the food retail and foodservice level.

In Harris County, nearly 750,000 people are affected by hunger, many of which are kids
(Source: Feeding America).

Hunger: Often times, continuous or frequent hunger is the result of food insecurity. Food insecurity is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food (Source: USDA ERS).

 

The Solution

Harris County has over 8,000 food establishments and nearly 45 pantries or soup kitchens distributing food to those in need in the community. Why not connect supply to demand?

Donations have never tasted so good! Food recovery is the process of using different methods to divert food from disposal in a landfill. Donating food to feed hungry people is one the most efficient ways to recover edible, excess food. 

Since Harris County is roughly the size of Rhode Island, we have a lot of ground to cover! In order to strategically focus our food donation efforts, Take Out Hunger will begin active outreach in these areas displayed on the map.

 

Donation Process

Getting started is easy! Contact our Program Coordinator to learn what you need to do to get started. You can expect to discuss some of the following:

  • Signing up with Take Out Hunger as a Donor, Recipient Partner, or Volunteer
  • Completing a Donations Food Safety Training
  • Verifying your Food Manager’s or Food Handler’s certificate
  • Any previous experience with food donations

Everyone can benefit from food donations.

  • Liability Protection - legal protection from criminal and civil liabilities when apparently wholesome food is donated and accepted in good faith. These protections are granted at the federal level through the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, and at the state level through the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, Ann. § 76.001—004. Applies to: Donor & Recipient Partners
  • Tax Incentives - Claim a General or Enhanced Tax Deduction for food donated. Applies to: Donors
  • Lower Waste Costs - By donating, less food will end up in the dumpster. This could translate to savings throughout the year. Applies to: Donors
  • Good Public Image - Food donations are good all-around because everyone benefits, and it keeps good food from going to waste. Let others know you are part of Take Out Hunger #takeouthungerhc. Applies to: Everyone!
Food Safety for Donations

Practicing food safety and preventing foodborne illness is a top priority of Take Out Hunger.
Click on the buttons below to view the food safety toolkit that is right for you.

Need a Food Manager’s Certificate?
Need a Food Handler’s Certificate?