How is MEANS funded?
As a 501(c)3, any donation to us is tax-deductible. In addition, we are rolling out deduction-tracking features, SMS notifications, and a few other services that we may provide on top of our always-free core service. We’re incredibly grateful to have won the 2015 George Washington University’s Business Plan Competition and are using the earnings and in-kind support wisely to grow the strength of our service.
How does MEANS protect donors from liability?
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (the Emerson Act) provides federal protection for food donors who donate to verified nonprofits. MEANS verifies that anyone claiming items via MEANS Database is a qualifying nonprofit under the Emerson Act, protecting donors.
Donated food must be “apparently wholesome” or an “apparently fit grocery product” and meet “all quality and labeling standards imposed by Federal, State, and local laws and regulations,” even if it is not “readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other conditions. MEANS requires donors to check a box and certify items this way each time they donate.
How do you police quality?
The MEANS Database can’t personally check every donation, so after every transaction the donor and recipient both rate each other. So, if a donor consistently mischaracterizes the nature of their donation, or if a recipient fails to follow-through and pickup an item, they will receive bad ratings. We look into donors and recipients with consistently bad ratings.