What Are Some Grocery Stores That Donate to Food Pantries?

Shaw's Supermarkets, Target, Wal-mart and Save Mart grocery stores donate to food pantries. Kroger and Trader Joe's also participate in food donation programs through the nonprofit organizations Food Finders and Feeding America. Grocers that partner with the program Grocery Rescue include QFC, Fred Meyer, Whole Foods, Metropolitan Market, Sam's Club and Albertson's. King Soopers, Sprouts, Safeway and Niwot Market also participate in donation programs.

Nonprofit programs that partner with grocery stores to provide food donations include Campus Kitchens Project, in which college students create community kitchens to transfer unwanted food to the hungry. Grocery stores can also donate through Community Plates, an organization with volunteers that deliver surplus food from grocers to food pantries. Donate Don't Dump, a program created by an elementary school student, collects unwanted food from grocery stores to help feed the hungry.

Some grocery store donation programs focus on a particular geographical location. For example, ExtraFood.org is based in Marin County, California, and serves the hungry by transferring unwanted grocery store products to non-profit food pantries throughout the area. Ahiara Development Union USA is based in Houston, Texas, and helps support local food pantries by distributing surplus grocery store foods. Community Harvest of Stark County, based in Stark County, Ohio, has been gleaning food for food pantries from local food industry businesses since 1989.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has led efforts to obtain and distribute unsold food from farmers, farmers' markets, grocery stores and food industry businesses. The USDA encourages gleaning, or the recovery and distribution of fresh foods to families who lack food security. Participating donors are protected from liability by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. Businesses can also reap tax benefits through donations.