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Blumenthal & Toomey Introduce Legislation to Increase Food Donations & Promote Food Security

Introduced on Giving Tuesday, the legislation would expand food donation efforts of manufacturers, restaurants, grocers, & others

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced the Food Donation Improvement Act to expand food donation efforts across the country. With millions of Americans facing food insecurity, ambiguous, outdated, and limited liability protections often prevent many businesses and organizations from donating food. The Food Donation Improvement Act would encourage food donation efforts by extending liability protections to food donors when food is either given directly to a person in need or when a recipient pays a deeply reduced cost.

“This bill will eliminate legal roadblocks that discourage food donations by restaurants, retailers, and others,” said Blumenthal. “Nearly 40 percent of our nation’s food goes to waste – creating a clear opportunity and imperative to help Americans going hungry every day. I’m proud to partner with Senator Toomey on this bipartisan effort to enable timely and efficient food donations to Americans facing food insecurity.”

“Food donations make a big difference in the lives of many Americans, and Congress should make donating food to the less fortunate as easy as possible,” said Toomey. “The bipartisan Food Donation Improvement Act will reduce food waste and help get more food to those who need it most by shielding good faith donors from frivolous lawsuits.”

The Food Donation Improvement Act would extend liability protections to food donors when food is given directly to a person in need rather than a nonprofit intermediary, or when food is given at a deeply reduced cost. Expanding these protections would allow retail grocers, wholesalers, agricultural producers, restaurants, caterers, school food authorities, and higher education institutions to increase the quantity and efficiency of their food donation efforts. The bill would also clarify labeling standards that food products must meet to be eligible for liability protections. 

The text of the legislation is available here.