You are on page 1of 13

Implementing a Food Rescue

Program at RUSD
GREEN Cafeteria Meeting
February 21, 2019
What we’ll cover
• Evolution of laws regarding food rescue/sharing
• USDA and Wisconsin guidance
• Best practices
• Resources
• Next steps
Evolution of US and Wisconsin laws and guidelines
Congress passes the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Act to protect businesses from liability when
they donate food to charitable organizations
USDA General Council issues memorandum indicating that the Act preempts state good Samaritan
Mar 1997
statutes that provide less liability
May 2011 Wisconsin DPI issues policy guidelines that prohibit sharing tables
Congress passes the School Food Recovery Act, amending the National School Lunch act to “clarify that
Nov 2011 schools…participating in the lunch program are authorized to donate surplus food to local food banks or
charitable organizations.”
Feb 2012 USDA issues guidance on food donation programs
Feb 2014 WI DPI reverses 2011 decision and authorizes food sharing with specific and detailed requirements
Oct 2014 Wisconsin DPI issues additional clarification and a “fact sheet” about sharing tables and a template SOP
USDA issues additional guidance on the use of sharing tables (including that food may be re-served) and
Jun 2016
also delineates food safety requirements
WI DPI issues memorandum strongly encouraging schools to implement food waste reduction programs
Oct 2016
including use of smarter lunchroom techniques and sharing tables
USDA and Wisconsin Guidance
• Food service staff should first work to reduce food waste by:
– Increasing food choice
– Changing food presentation
– Changing menus based on student input
– Holding recess before lunch
– Allowing sufficient time for meals and snacks
– Scheduling breaks and snacks so students are hungry at meal time
– Effectively implementing “offer versus serve”
Specifics from Wisconsin DPI about Food Sharing
• Administration or school board must approve
• Must comply with USDA and local health department food safety
– Perishable foods must be kept on ice or in a cooler
– Packages must be inspected to ensure they have not been opened
– No food from home or food prepared by others
• Sharing table/counter/bin must be in a designated space with
appropriate signage
– Clearly not part of the regular meal offering
• An SOP must be developed that provides specifics for each site (DPI
has provided a one-page template)
Other Considerations if Donating to Charity
• Receiving party must be a 501(c)3
• There should be a specific
agreement with the receiving
organization regarding types of food
they can use, pickup times, etc.
• Roles and responsibilities for charity
versus students and staff must be
clearly delineated
• Volunteer pickup staff must be
trained and reliable
Best Practice Recommendations
• Involve all stakeholders early
– principal, kitchen staff, custodians,
parents, cafeteria monitors, teachers,
• Start with elementary schools (more waste)
• Make it as easy as possible
– Standard signage
– Standard bins/coolers
– Sample SOP
– Sample letters to parents, marketing
materials, social media
• Let the kids lead
An Excellent Resource

• Sample letters
• Links to information regarding
laws and regulations
• Sample guidelines from other
• Access to hundreds of other
schools who have done this
Additional Resources Available from K-12 Food Rescue

• Certificates and Awards • T-shirts and swag

Additional Resources Available from K-12 Food Rescue
• National recognition and
awards for students

• Online tracking tool

• Shareable graphics for social
Additional Resources Available from K-12 Food Rescue
• Professionally-produced videos
So…what do we do next?
1. Research and identify County Health Department requirements
2. Create a short presentation for school board, administration, staff that
outlines the what and why of the program
3. Gain agreement from pilot school administrators and staff to participate
4. Conduct a food waste audit in pilot schools
5. Draft a school board resolution and coordinate its passage
6. Create a specific timeline and plan for each school
7. Support development of a site-specific SOP
8. Create templates for signage (kids to create?)
9. Acquire bins and coolers (donations?)
10. Identify recipient organizations for pilot schools and help coordinate
initial meetings
11. Support internal and external marketing in the schools and community
12. Do – learn – and do it again
“Children have the right to choose to feed people
instead of the landfill.”

The best place to start…is to start!