Food Donations
Most Needed Items
Good Samaritan Law
How to Hold a Food Drive
Thanksgiving Donations


Food for Others' mission is to obtain and distribute free food to the hungry of Northern Virginia and support food programs of other community-based organizations. We provide a channel for people to volunteer their services to help their neighbors in need.

Food Donations

Every food donation helps in the fight against hunger – no matter how small or large. Food for Others accepts donations of food at its Merrifield warehouse Monday through Friday, during normal operating hours, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. Click here for our address and directions.

Our most needed items include:

  • Canned meats – ham, turkey, chicken, tuna, and beef
  • Peanut butter and jelly/jam
  • Canned soup, stew, and chili
  • Cereal
  • Vegetables – fresh (in season) or canned
  • Fruit - fresh (in season) or canned
  • Beans – dried or canned
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Boxed Meals
  • Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Rice
  • Fruit Juice
  • Coffee and tea

The Good Samaritan Law

On October 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals and limit liability for those who provide food. This new law makes it easier to donate. Here's how:

  • It protects donors from liability when donating to a nonprofit organization.
  • It protects donors from civil and criminal liability should the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the needy recipient.
  • It standardizes donor liability exposure. Donors and their legal counsel no longer have to investigate liability laws in 50 states.
  • Congress recognized that the provision of food close to recommended date of sale is, in and of itself, not grounds for finding gross negligence. For example, cereal can be donated if it is marked close-to-code date for retail sale.

Donating is easier now than ever before. For complete text of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, visit the Feeding America web site at click here.

How to Hold a Successful Food Drive

Food drives organized by businesses, schools, associations, churches and other groups are critically important as we work to keep our shelves packed with nutritious food for the hungry. This is especially true during the summer months. All food collected during these drives will help to feed the hungry right here in our area. We can help make your food drive easy and fun.

For more information and a Food Drive Planning Kit for individuals, click here.

For the Workplace Food Drive Planning Kit, click here.

For the Power Pack Program (P3) Food Drive Kit , click here.

For the Power Pack Program assembly information, click here.

For more information call 703-207-9173.

Thanksgiving Donations

Each year, starting in October, Food for Others begins to collect all the fixings for Thanksgiving meals. These items are put together in bags that will provide much of a Thanksgiving meal for families in our area. If you would like to donate fixings for a holiday dinner, please feel free to drop your donation off at anytime in October or November. Below is a list of items commonly contained in one of our Thanksgiving bags

  • Turkey or chicken
  • Lettuce, celery, onions, potatoes
  • Apples, oranges
  • Stuffing mix
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • Canned vegetable and fruit
  • Cake mix or fixings for a pie
  • Apple juice or other juice
  • Any other treats your family enjoys