This applies to anyone currently living in the U.S:
In the anticipation that some may question the ethics of distributing dived items to pantries/shelters, etc, I wiki'd this law so that it's clear to everyone that legally, you're protected.
This doesn't mean to replace the necessary education of learning how to recognize good food vs. bad (which pretty much only applies to animal products and vegan perishables, as bad fruits and veggies are pretty gosh darn obvious to see/smell), and people who get food from pantries also know their food is donated and tend to become knowledgeable about spoilage and rancidity. FYI, this also includes OTC medicines.
"The Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (Pub.L. 104-210, 110 Stat. 3011, enacted October 1, 1996) was created to encourage food donation to nonprofits by minimizing liability, in accordance with the Model Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. Signed into law by President Bill Clinton, this law, named after Rep. Bill Emerson (who encouraged the proposal but died before it was passed), makes it easier to donate food by allowing donor liability only in cases of gross negligence."
(And it would have to be pretty gross to be negligent!!)
So there you have it. You're legally protected and free to carry on with diving like a champion and sharing it like a superhero!
P.S. Here's an afterthought: You may want to educate yourself on recognizing animal product spoilage. That stuff can be re-homed, and in our small way that's how we honor our beautiful animal brethren who gave their bodies and eggs to the profit machine-by making their purpose higher than just getting bred, sacrificed, then dumped in the trash. About a month ago I rescued about 15 cartons of organic, free range eggs and some individual families got them as well as the pantry. They were perfectly good and gratefully received.
Thank you for this information! I am going to put together some paperwork for store owners to look over, when I ask them to let me transport and donate their tossed produce. This is helpful!