Policy and Law


Below is a list of national legislation and policies related to food recovery. For DC-specific resources, click here.

Table of Contents

Food Donation
Animal Feed


Food Donation

The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996
Federal liability protection for anyone donating food in good faith to a 501c3 non profit.

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

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Keeping Food Out of the Landfill: Policy Ideas for States and Localities
The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic published this toolkit to provide comprehensive information on eight different policy areas that states and localities can consider as they ramp up efforts to reduce food waste. The toolkit includes recommendations for each of the policy areas, which can be utilized by legislators, advocates, food donors, and food recovery organizations to call for policy changes. Each section of the toolkit describes the relevant federal laws, provides state examples, and offers the Clinic’s policy recommendations.
The policy areas are:
• Liability Protection for Food Donations;
• Tax Incentives for Food Donations;
• Date Labeling;
• Food Safety for Food Donations;
• Food Waste Reduction in K-12 Schools;
• Feeding Food Scraps to Livestock;
• Organic Waste Bans and Waste Recycling Laws; and
• Government Support for Food Waste Reduction.

Food Waste Policy Finder
ReFED and the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic collaborated to develop the Food Waste Policy Finder in order to provide an overview of current federal and state policies related to food waste. The tool is intended to depict the existing policy landscape while highlighting best-practice legislation in order to promote the continued development and implementation of sound food waste policy.

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Animal Feed

Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Food Scraps as Animal Feed
The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic published this guide covering federal laws, state regulations, and recommendations for using food scraps to feed animals. 

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