Many are in need during the holiday season. One organization is making sure places like shelters can feed people with food from upscale hotels and events—thanks to a little-known law passed nearly two decades ago.

Laurent Poulian and Carlos Lasanta are two chefs from two different worlds. Poulian prepares meals at $100 and up for the Fairmont Copley Plaza and Lasanta makes meals for clients at the Boston Rescue Mission—a shelter that feeds 300 to 400 people a day.

They’ve been crossing paths since the hotel started donating food to BRM through a program called the Feeding Our Neighbors Initiative begun by a group within the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE).

Sometimes Poulian donates filet mignon, sometimes it’s lobster bisque. But today…

"We have some nice buttery croissants, nice danishes with apricot filling and we have some chocolate chip cookies with macadamia nuts," Poulian said. "I think it will be nice for people who are homeless and deserve to eat a good meal.

Naomi Raiselle and Dana Siles started NACE in 2011.

"We started it because we realized there was so much left over food from events and so many hungry people in Boston," Raiselle said. "Our goal was to get the food to the hungry people and that's what feeding our neighbors is all about."

Raiselle says that businesses worry that if the donated food makes people sick, they’ll get sued. But donations from events, hotels and caterers are protected by the law and many groups don’t know that.

"Our goal is just to educate people about the Bill Emerson Act," she said. "That food donation has no liability, complete liability protection for all donors in good faith."

They’ve helped donate over 2,500 pounds of food over the last two years to several organizations throughout Greater Boston.

For the Fairmont Copley—a downtown Boston staple—Suzanne Wenz says this was a great chance to give back.

"When we learned about this initiative with NACE and the ability that we had to donate some of our just really wonderful food without any liability or any issues, we knew it was something that we really had to jump on board," Wenz said.

Now on to the good part: We followed the food to the Boston Rescue Mission for a little taste testing amongst clients.

One client, asked for his reaction to the fact the cookies he was enjoying came from a place that sells plates for about $150 dollars a pop, said, "That’s ridiculous, but they're donating here though? Oh, that’s great."

Nick—who goes by his first name only—is impressed.

"It looks like something if I went into a bakery that’s how they'd have them perfectly lined up," he said. "Great presentation and you can tell which one is which."

Anthony Dabney satisfied his sweet tooth.

"You can taste the molasses in it," he said. "Its really, really delicious…I would think I'd pay a lot of money for this."

But thanks to NACE, it's on the house.