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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
    IntroducedApril 26th, 2018

What is it?

This bill — the Food Donation Act of 2018  — would expand civil and criminal liability protections for the donation of apparently fit grocery product or apparently wholesome food to people in need. It would clarify that the protections of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act cover food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants — currently it protects individuals, businesses, and food recovery organizations. Donated food would have to have been donated in good faith, meet all quality and labeling requirements (or be reconditioned so it does), be distributed by the receiving nonprofit to needy individuals, and not be paid for by the needy individual.

Additionally, the bill would expand liability protections to donations of apparently fit grocery products or apparently wholesome food:

  • That is mislabeled in a manner that isn’t related to safety and safety-related labeling standards and regulations;

  • Which meets safety and safety-related labeling standards and regulations but is past the date label;

  • For which the receiving nonprofit is charged a “good Samaritan reduced” price that is no greater than the cost of handling, administering, and distributing the product; or

  • That is donated directly to a needy individual by a retail grocer, wholesaler, agricultural producer, restaurant, caterer, school food authority, or institution of higher education.

The bill would require the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to issue regulations with respect to the safety and safety-related labeling standards of apparently wholesome food and an apparently fit grocery product; promote awareness of food donation; and issue guidance with respect to the amendments to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act by this bill.

Impact

Food-insecure families and individuals; donors of food; and the USDA.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced this bill to expand liability protections for food donors and nonprofit organizations that help those in need while ensuring donated foods are fit for consumption:

“Grocers and restaurants continue to cite liability concerns as a barrier to donating food to food-insecure families. That’s why I am happy to introduce this legislation which will empower these organizations to deliver excess food to those who need it most. Most importantly, this bill directs the establishment of clear standards for donated foods, so that increased food donations do not come at the expense of quality or the dignity of those in need.”

Emily Broad Leib, the Director of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic offered the following statement in support of this bill:

“The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is excited to see Senator Hatch taking action on such a pressing issue. FLPC is pleased to support this bill, which incorporates some of the key policy changes we’ve advocated for: clarifying the Emerson Act’s coverage, ensuring that protections address the modern food recovery landscape, and eliminating onerous barriers to increase food donations. By making small changes to the Emerson Act, the Food Donation Act can support big increases in wholesome food donations.”

This legislation has the support of one cosponsor, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: brazzo / iStock)

AKA

Food Donation Act of 2018

Official Title

A bill to amend the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to clarify and expand food donation under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, and for other purposes.

    There is so much waste in our country and small and large businesses alike can’t help but continue wasting because of liability of giving it away for free to people in need.
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    I agree that we should always help our fellow neighbors in time of need, but my opinion on this bill is no, for two reasons. First, the bill was proposed by Orrin Hatch that is a first red flag. Senator Hatch has a history of voting and proposing bills that would benefit himself and/or his friends, and he has repeatedly made comments wherein he has expressed his lack of caring for the little people. Second, the sentence referring to the labeling of the donations, specifically if the label does not meet specific requirements, the label must be reconditioned, but reconditioned to what? Changing expiration dates? For these two reasons, no, but mostly because I feel that Senator Hatch is not trustworthy.
    Like (55)
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    We should protect those who offer aid in good faith. Although I do feel significant reservation about who this bill came from. Hatch is no bastion of good will and compassion. But I can’t figure out where the catch is... maybe a early move in a plan to kill SNAP?
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    Senator Hatch’s bill answers a real need in our communities. Every day restaurants and grocery stores throw out tons of edible food. As long as the food is fit, it should be offered for consumption to those who need it. People, families aren’t ‘food insecure’, they’re Hungry. Feed them. Common sense is Winning in this bill. An Uplifting example of bi-partisan legislation. Thank you!
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    Nothing Orin hatch backs is ok in my world at this point
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    Hungry people dig in garbage cans for food daily. Liability for generosity is just plain foolishness. This reeks of Orrin Hatch getting his pockets lined $$$
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    I agree with the Orrin Hatch dissenter !!! There’s something in this for him or his fiendish friends !!!!! ... A trump crony synonymous with corruption in my opinion !!!!
    Like (12)
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    I cannot trust Hatch.
    Like (10)
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    Crazy that we throw out leftovers because we are afraid of being sued.
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    I don’t trust Hatch as far as I can throw him!!! The absolute epitome of government for sale!
    Like (9)
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    Stop making everything so damn difficult.
    Like (7)
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    Our local Food Bank and other local organizations are always in need of food items. Yes let's support the donors.
    Like (6)
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    Why should the government seek to control charity? Food donors are not generally malicious. People are hungry while others are ready to give. Let these matters be decided on a local and community level.
    Like (6)
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    We need to protect those who give. .Com sense should prevail and those handing out and those receiving should inspect the food prior to consuming it.
    Like (5)
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    It’s pretty simple, don’t donate bad food!
    Like (4)
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    Don’t be scared of this just because it’s backed by a republican with a shady past. You are weary of the Senator because it might benefit him or his deep pocketed friends. You are right! If any of them are in the market business, YOU SAVE MONEY WHEN YOU DONATE IT AWAY INSTEAD OF THROWING IT. (*if the non profit is handling the travel - which 99% of the time, they are). So, who cares?! This bill is a godsend, especially from someone who has seen it firsthand benefit so many people. (I’ve been on the receiving end of the food and the one volunteering to give it away). Don’t be Lousy Liberal Democrats who fail to recognize when legislation for those in lower economic status is good. Let this pass to convince the weary market managers / owners.
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    All food quality whether donated or store brought should always meet regulations. When making this decision, place yourself in the shoes of those who are going to make affected by this bill. #DecisionMakingProcess
    Like (3)
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    Of course. No explanation necessary.
    Like (3)
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    Orin Hatch sponsored this bill? I was all for it till I read that part... Hatch doesn't like poor people... there must be something in this bill I need to read it fully before I vote.
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    I don’t usually agree with Orrin Hatch, but food insecurity is a major problem in this country. So, perfectly good food needs to be donated to help with the crisis.
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