DC-Specific Resources

Below are DC-specific resources, laws and policies, and activists in the food recovery space.

Table of Contents

DC-Specific Guides and Resources
Legislation and Policies
National Toolkits & Action Guides
Local Activists

DC Local Guides and Resources

The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic partnered with the DC Food Recovery Working Group to publish the “Food Recovery in the District of Columbia: A Legal Guide” which lays out laws and policies related to food recovery in DC.

DC Food Recovery Guide 2017
The DC Food Recovery Guide is a printable pamphlet created by the DC Food Recovery Working Group containing information on all things food recovery in DC.

DC Food Recovery Business Guide 2017
The DC Food Recovery Business Guide is a printable pamphlet created by the DC Food Recovery Working Group aimed at DC food business (restaurants, caterers, cafeterias, grocery stores, etc.) containing information on all things food recovery in DC.

DUG Network DC Food Recovery Tools and Guides
List of food recovery Apps and technology, guides, infographics, programs and legislation specific to greater DC area.

Sierra Club DC Commercial Composting Guide
Addresses opportunities to compost food scraps at restaurants, offices, schools, and apartment/condo buildings in the Greater DC area

Share Tables: Guidance for DC Schools
DGS created document to guide schools on setting up shared tables.

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Legislation and Policies

Liability Protection

DC Food Donation Liability Protection
The DC law related to liability protection for food donation is D.C. Code Ann. § 48-301. The law provides criminal and civil liability protection to food businesses that donate food to a non-profit that distributes food for free or a nominal charge. This protection applies unless there is evidence of gross negligence or intentional misconduct by the donor.

  • Extends the same liability coverage as Bill Emerson Act
  • DC’s Food Code allows donation of unserved food
  • DGS/DOH Shared Table Guidance
    • DC’s Food Code allows re-serving “not potentially hazardous” food that has been served to someone but not eaten on a share table.
    • Re-serving “potentially hazardous” foods (e.g. milk) requires applying for a DOH variance.

DC Save Good Food Act (not yet passed)
Extends liability coverage to anyone donating at anytime.  Allows people to donate directly to people in need instead of a non profit or church middle person.  Click on the link to learn how you can help pass this law.

Tax Incentives

CHLPI: Federal Business Tax Incentives for Food Donations Guide
This is a guide on how to receive federal tax incentives for businesses donating food.

Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP)
VA State Tax Credits for donating food

Maryland Food Donation Tax Credit Pilot Program
Tax credit for farmers donating food

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National Toolkits & Action Guides

Keeping Food Out of the Landfill: Policy Ideas for States and Localities (Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, October 2016) This toolkit provides information on eight different policy areas that states and localities can consider as they ramp up efforts to reduce food waste.

Food: Too Good to Waste Implementation Guide and Toolkit (U.S. EPA, 2016) This toolkit is for communities who want to help households reduce their food waste.

ReFED Action Guides for Retail, Restaurant, Food Service and Foundation leaders (ReFED, January 2018)

Fighting Food Waste in Hotels (World Wildlife Fund, November 2017)

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Local Activist

Will Reid

Food Warriors Podcast
Food Warriors is a DC-based podcast that is reframing how we think about our food. Food Warriors are entrepreneurs, farmers, educators, policy shifters, chefs and more who are paving the way to transform our food system, offering the most innovative solutions to our greatest food challenges — from food waste to food security. Hear the stories that fueled their mission and then get clear, actionable steps you can start using today. 
Here are some links to the show: