Beyond Hunger

April 14, 2021

By Jennifer Lease, RD, CDN, Director of Nutrition Initiatives, YMCA of Metro Denver  

The YMCA Beyond Hunger team and our community partners want you to know we take your health and safety seriously. This notice has important information about the food we distribute. 

Where we get our food: 

  • Donations from partners like City Harvest Food Bank, Food Bank of the Rockies, We Don’t Waste  

  • Locally-produced foods, like fruits, veggies, eggs, and meat come from East Denver Food Hub  

We try our best not to give you spoiled or expired foods. We do this by:  

  • Sorting through fresh produce and taking away those pieces with mold or lots of damage  

  • Going through our pantry of dry goods on a regular basis to check expiration dates  

It is also very important to us that we help reduce food waste. The USDA estimates that 30% of the food supply is lost or wasted at the retail and consumer levels, partly because of confusion around package labels.  

Sometimes, you will get food items from Beyond Hunger that are near or just past their “best by”, “use by” or “sell by” dates. These foods have been rescued from waste because they are still safe to eat and can help feed more people.  

Below is more information from the USDA to help you understand the food date labels: 

  • “Best if used by/before”: this means when the item will still have the best flavor or quality 

  • “Use by”: this is the last date recommended for using the product while at its best quality  

  • “Sell by”: this date is mostly for the store to know how long the product can stay on the shelves so they can manage their inventory  

None of the above are safety dates and the products may still be safe to enjoy past those listed dates.  

** The exception to these terms is for infant formula. Please refer to the USDA guidelines on using infant formula for best use.  

Milk is a common item you might receive from Beyond Hunger that this notice applies to. Here is what you need to know: 

  • If unopened, milk could last for 5-7 days past the best by date 

  • If opened, milk could last for 2-3 days past the best by date 

Remember: “Your nose knows!” 
Spoiled foods will have an “off” smell, taste and/or texture. If you notice any of these or see mold, the food should not be eaten. Store perishable food items properly in the fridge or freezer at home so they stay fresh longer.  

For more information on USDA food product dating, go to this website: 

If you have any questions or concerns related to the items you receive from Beyond Hunger, please contact our Program Manager, Peter Duda at or (720) 524-2761.