London, UK – March 26, 2019 – Countries that are considering and recommending food donation policies will soon have a valuable resource. Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) and The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) announced today at the Food Bank Leadership Institute in London that, together with the support of the Walmart Foundation, they have partnered to develop the Global Food Donation Policy Atlas, a two-year project that will map the laws and policies affecting food donation in 15 countries.
According to the United Nations, more than enough food is produced to feed every person in the world, yet an estimated 821 million people globally suffer from hunger. While millions of people go without adequate food, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Because food is heavily regulated, and food safety laws can pose barriers to the creation of food donation programs in many countries, redirecting safe, surplus food can be difficult and complicated.
The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas will help in-country partners by providing research that will help them understand national laws relating to food, compare laws across countries and regions, analyze donation barriers, and share best practices and recommendations. In addition to written legal guides to food donation and policy considerations for each country, the Global Food Donation and Policy Atlas will outline its findings with a website and interactive map presenting countries’ food donation laws.
“In the U.S., our work has uncovered unclear or confusing laws that lead to unnecessary food waste. Businesses throw food away because they do not know what safety rules apply to donations, or because they cannot access tax credits to cover the cost of transporting such food,” said Emily Broad Leib, Director of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic. “We are thrilled to collaborate with The Global FoodBanking Network and in-country partners to examine these issues in a range of countries, aiming to reduce barriers, learn best practices and build more thoughtful policies to get food to those in need.”
FLPC and GFN will assess food donation laws and policies in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States in the project’s first year. An additional 10 countries will be incorporated in the second year. The project team will collaborate with local not-for-profit organizations, businesses, policymakers, government officials, and academics in designing and developing the atlas.
“Through the Global Food Donation Policy Atlas business, community and government leaders will access comprehensive and global information on food donation policy all in one place,” said Lisa Moon, GFN President and Chief Executive Officer. “GFN is excited to partner with Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic in developing this important resource, and we thank the Walmart Foundation for their support for the project.”
The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas will benefit from FLPC’s leadership in researching, evaluating and documenting food donation laws and policy at all levels of government in the United States, as well as GFN’s work in launching and strengthening food banks in more than 30 countries. Food banking is a unique model that provides hunger relief to more than 60 million people globally by saving surplus food and redirecting it to social service organizations that feed the needy. It’s a successful model that has been replicated and tailored to different countries and communities.
“Drawing on Walmart’s local presence, logistics expertise, and associate passion, around the world we donate millions of pounds of food and our associates volunteer hundreds of thousands of hours toward hunger relief,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are also committed to help innovate and strengthen the charitable system through philanthropy, extending the reach of hunger relief programs. The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas is a key part of this strategy and we’re proud to be involved in the project.”
About the Harvard Law School 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 focuses on increasing access to healthy foods, supporting sustainable production and regional food systems, and reducing waste of healthy, wholesome food.
About The Global FoodBanking Network
The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is an international non-profit organization based in Chicago that nourishes the world’s hungry through launching and strengthening food banks in 30 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, GFN member food banks rescued and redirected food to more than 9 million people facing hunger.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
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 27 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Our philanthropy helps people live better by supporting upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where Walmart operates and inspiring our associates to give back. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://giving.walmart.com/foundation
Food Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School
The Global FoodBanking Network