Strengthening Food Donation Operations During COVID-19: Key Issues and Best Practices for Governments Around the Globe – 2021 Update
As communities worldwide faced sudden mandated closures of schools and businesses, restrictions on movement, and severe economic disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people–many for the first time–turned to food banks for assistance. Recognizing the critical role of food banks and food recovery organizations in addressing food insecurity, food loss, and food waste, the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) and The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) published the June 2020 issue brief Strengthening Food Donation Operations During COVID-19: Key Issues and Best Practices for Governments Around the Globe (hereinafter the “2020 Issue Brief”). Part of The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas project, the 2020 Issue Brief highlighted key issues impacting food donation during the initial months of the pandemic and the shortcomings of government emergency responses, including a lack of official recognition of food banks, gaps in social protections, resource shortages, and emergency response measures that inadvertently hindered food recovery operations. The issue brief also recommended concrete strategies for policymakers seeking to more effectively leverage food donation as a solution to rising hunger and food waste.
This 2021 issue brief updates the FLPC and GFN’s previous publication. It reflects on the pandemic’s impact on food systems, food access, and food recovery and monitors government responses between June 2020-August 2021.