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  • Matt Wampler

Restaurants & The Food Donation Improvement Act (FDIA)


December 27th, 2022



The Food Donation Improvement Act (FDIA) has been passed by Congress, and aims to reduce food waste and increase food donations to those in need by expanding and clarifying liability protections for businesses that donate food. The FDIA builds upon the existing Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, and will allow companies to directly donate safe and quality foods without fear of litigation. Rethink Food has been a vocal supporter of the FDIA and worked to build support and gain cosponsors for the legislation. The FDIA now awaits President Biden's signature.


Why is The Food Donation Improvement Act important?


The Food Donation Improvement Act is important because it aims to reduce food waste and increase food donations in the United States. It does this by expanding and clarifying liability protections for businesses that donate surplus food, which can help to alleviate concerns about litigation and encourage more companies to donate excess food. The Act also allows businesses to donate food directly to individuals, rather than just through nonprofit organizations, which can help to get food to those in need more efficiently. By increasing food donations and reducing food waste, the Act has the potential to help address food insecurity and improve food access for millions of Americans.


How does The Food Donation Improvement Act work?


The Food Donation Improvement Act (FDIA) is a piece of legislation that aims to reduce food waste and increase food donations to those in need in the United States. It does this by clarifying and expanding the liability protections provided to food donors under the existing Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.


Under the FDIA, liability protection is extended to food that is sold at a reduced price, in addition to food that is donated for free. This allows businesses to sell surplus food at a discounted price to cover the cost of handling the products, while still being protected from liability.


The FDIA also expands liability protection to include direct donations made by qualified donors directly to individuals in need. Previously, liability protection only applied to donations made to nonprofit organizations. This change allows businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, and schools to donate food directly to those in need, rather than going through a nonprofit intermediary.


Finally, the FDIA directs the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to clarify the quality and labeling standards that donated food products must meet to be eligible for liability protection. This will help businesses understand what they need to do to ensure that their donations are protected under the FDIA.


Overall, the FDIA aims to make it easier and safer for businesses to donate surplus food to those in need, while also reducing food waste and helping to address food insecurity in the United States.


How will The Food Donation Improvement Act effect restaurants?


The Food Donation Improvement Act (FDIA) is designed to encourage restaurants and other food-based businesses to donate their surplus food to those in need. It does this by providing liability protection to food donors and food recovery organizations. This protection is intended to alleviate concerns that businesses may have about being held liable if a donated product makes someone sick.


Under the FDIA, businesses will be able to donate food that is sold at a reduced price, in addition to food that is given away for free. This will give businesses more flexibility to donate surplus food without worrying about the potential costs associated with giving it away for free.


The FDIA also expands liability protection to include direct donations made by qualified donors directly to individuals in need. Currently, liability protection only covers donations made to non-profit organizations, which can be a barrier for businesses that want to donate food directly to individuals.


Finally, the FDIA directs the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to clarify the quality and labeling standards that donated food products must meet in order to be eligible for liability protection. This will help to provide clarity and guidance to businesses on how to donate surplus food safely and responsibly.


Overall, the FDIA is intended to make it easier and safer for restaurants and other food-based businesses to donate surplus food, which will help to reduce food waste and increase access to food for those in need.


How can restaurants take advantage of The Food Donation Improvement Act?


One of the main ways that the Food Donation Improvement Act will impact restaurants is by making it easier for them to donate excess food to those in need. Under the Act, restaurants will be able to donate food directly to individuals, rather than just to nonprofit organizations. This will help to remove some of the barriers that have previously made it difficult for restaurants to donate food, such as the need to find a nonprofit intermediary to receive the donation.


In addition to making it easier for restaurants to donate food, the Food Donation Improvement Act will also provide greater clarity on the liability protections that are available to food donors. This will help to alleviate some of the concerns that restaurants may have about being sued if a donated food item causes someone to become ill. The Act directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to write regulations explaining the safety and labeling requirements that must be met in order to maintain protection under the Act.


To take advantage of the Food Donation Improvement Act, restaurants can begin by identifying any excess food that they may have and considering whether it could be donated to those in need. They can then research the various organizations and programs that are available to accept food donations, and reach out to them to discuss the possibility of making a donation.


It is important for restaurants to be aware of the food safety and labeling requirements that must be met in order to be protected under the Act. They should also be sure to document their donations carefully, as this will be required.


Summary


The Food Donation Improvement Act (FDIA) provides liability protection for restaurants and other food-based businesses that donate surplus food to those in need. This protection is intended to alleviate concerns that businesses may have about being held liable if a donated product makes someone sick. The FDIA expands liability protection to include direct donations made by qualified donors directly to individuals in need, rather than just donations made to non-profit organizations. This change allows businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, and schools to donate food directly to those in need, rather than going through a non-profit intermediary.


Economically, the FDIA can also benefit restaurants and other food-based businesses by reducing food waste and related costs. By donating surplus food, businesses can avoid the costs of disposing of excess food, such as disposal fees, transportation costs, and storage costs. This can help to lower operating costs and increase profitability for businesses. Additionally, the FDIA can help to increase the demand for surplus food by allowing businesses to sell it at a reduced price, rather than disposing of it. This can help to generate additional revenue for businesses and potentially offset the costs of donating food.


Overall, the FDIA provides an opportunity for restaurants and other food-based businesses to reduce food waste, lower operating costs, and potentially increase profitability by donating surplus food to those in need. It also provides a way for businesses to give back to their communities and make a positive impact on food insecurity.



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