Dehli, India, June 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) released a first-of-its-kind interactive resource to inspire long-term policy solutions to food waste, hunger, and climate change: The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas. In partnership with The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), and with the support of the Walmart Foundation, The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas maps the laws and policies affecting food donation in India and provides recommendations to prevent unnecessary food waste and improve food distribution to those in need. The research released today also focuses on Argentina, Canada, Mexico, and the United States, the first five of 15 countries participating in this project.
Forty percent of all food produced in India is wasted annually. There has long been a need for countries to bridge the gap between surplus food and the growing need for food for the most vulnerable; the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly exacerbated this need. In addition to outlining the current laws, The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas provides policy recommendations so India’s food system actors will be more likely to distribute safe, surplus food to food insecure populations, instead of sending it to the landfill.
The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas looks at six main barriers to food recovery: food safety for donations, date labeling, liability protection for food donations, tax incentives and barriers, government grants and funding, and food waste penalties or donation requirements. Through a combination of research and on-the-ground field work with multiple stakeholders, FLPC researchers developed country-specific legal guides and policy recommendations for governments to prevent unnecessary waste and to promote food donation. For India, recommended actions include:
- Establish liability protections for food donors and food recovery organizations handling donated food;
- Offer tax incentives for food donations made to food recovery organizations approved by the government; and
- Provide greater government financial support for food donation infrastructure, and publicly encourage corporations to participate in food donation programs.
“There is a definite need for change in the food donation landscape in India. Particularly when you consider the fact there are 194 million people with zero food security in the country – the highest in the world,” explained Shristi Jain, Co-founder of Zomato Feeding India. “The need of the hour is to introduce protective and incentivizing policies for both individuals as well as institutional donors.”
This call for further action is echoed in other countries around the world, including those participating in the study. “It’s more important than ever for policymakers, government agencies, food donors, companies, food banks, and the public to understand the impact of unnecessary food waste in their countries and the need to change it,” said Emily Broad Leib, Faculty Director at FLPC and Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas is the first research study to compare food donation policies and best practices across the world, providing us with the global perspective we need to address this complex issue,” Broad Leib concluded.
Food banks worldwide depend largely on product donations to provide food to those facing hunger. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many food banks are seeing increases in demand for service. “The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any situation we have ever experienced before. Food bank organizations in our network are struggling to meet demand and get food to those who need it most,” said Lisa Moon, President and CEO of GFN. “The release of this project is extremely timely as it provides a roadmap for organizations and shines a light on global food system challenges for policymakers.”
FLPC will release similar reports for ten additional countries in the coming year: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
“Walmart Foundation has a long-standing commitment to increasing access to healthier foods in communities around the world and we are pleased to support the Global Food Donation Policy Atlas, because of its potential to accelerate effective and sustainable solutions,” said Eileen Hyde, Director of Sustainable Food Systems and Food Access for Walmart.org. “This project provides not only groundbreaking research to address the complexity of public policy relating to food donations, but it also presents clear opportunities to improve how surplus food gets to communities that need it.”
Legal guides, policy recommendations, executive summaries for India, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, and the United States, as well as an interactive map to compare food donation laws and policies across countries are available at atlas.foodbanking.org/.
ABOUT THE HARVARD FOOD LAW AND POLICY CLINIC
The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) serves partner organizations and communities by providing guidance on cutting-edge food system issues, while engaging law students in the practice of food law and policy. FLPC’s work focuses on increasing access to healthy foods, supporting sustainable production and regional food systems, promoting community-led food system change, and reducing waste of healthy, wholesome food. FLPC is committed to advancing a cross-sector, multi-disciplinary and inclusive approach to its work, building partnerships with academic institutions, government agencies, private sector actors, and civil society with expertise in public health, the environment, and the economy. For more information, visit http://www.chlpi.org/flpc/.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL FOODBANKING NETWORK
The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is an international non-profit organization that nourishes the world’s hungry through uniting and advancing food banks in 40+ countries. GFN focuses on combating hunger and preventing food waste by providing expertise, directing resources, sharing knowledge, and developing connections that increase efficiency, ensure food safety, and reach more people facing hunger. Last year, 943 GFN member food banks rescued over 500 million kilograms of food and grocery products and redirected it to feed 9.6 million people through a network of more than 55,000 social service and community-based organizations. For more information, please visit www.foodbanking.org.
ABOUT THE WALMART FOUNDATION
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. Walmart has stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate. We are not only working to tackle key social issues, but we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit giving.walmart.com.
ABOUT ZOMATO FEEDING INDIA
Zomato Feeding India provides the right channels for compassionate citizens to begin and manage initiatives that solve for hunger locally.With a network of 26,000+ volunteers across 100+ cities in India, Zomato Feeding India continues to work towards its joint mission of ‘better food for more people’ and ‘food for everyone’ to take the dream of ending hunger a step closer to reality.
Shristi Jain Zomato Feeding India email@example.com