Frequently Asked Questions
Food Rescue Examples
K12 Food Rescue FAQ
Is this legal? In 2011, the Richard Russell National School Lunch Act was amended to clarify that schools who donated food to charity are protected by Good Samaritan Laws just as restaurants and other food service businesses are protected.
Does the Government support food recovery beyond just the law? The USDA sponsors the Food Waste Challenge and the EPA sponsors the Food Recovery Challenge. Both encourage schools to participate.
My school already donates to a caring agency, and we have a back pack program. How is K-12 Food Rescue different? K-12 Food Rescue focuses on the estimated 1 billion food items annually that are unopened or unpeeled from the trays of students, and gives them a better alternative than placing them the trash that ultimately ends up in a landfill spewing methane gas into our environment.
Why can't the cafeteria staff just give the extra food to students directly from tray to trash? While the Good Samaritan Laws protect food donors for charitable donations, schools do not believe they would be protected if they were distributing or essentially re-serving food that had already been served and was handled by another party, in this case the student. A person coming to a food pantry fully understands the food has been handled elsewhere prior to arriving at the food pantry, potentially by a volunteer etc. Most schools currently are not willing to take on that risk, but understand the law protects donations to charities.
How should a school who is already on board roll K-12 Food Rescue out to the school? Food Rescue has a complete list of roll out suggestions, signage, and log-in sheets. Signup to receive these at K12 Get Started.
Does Food Rescue pick up the food? No. The caring agency assigned picks up the food?
How does Food Rescue screen caring agencies? Food Rescue informs caring agencies they will need to be able to demonstrate their food handling, food safety, food distribution, and food storage capacity of their facilities to the school in order to be considered as a partner. They will also need to have volunteer capacity to pick up the food. The school district makes the final decision once they are satisfied with the partner agency.
Does the school have to find an agency partner to donate to? No, Food Rescue will provide an introduction, and the school system can approve or deny partners after initial introductions. Food Rescue will also contact caring agencies locally the school district is aware they would like to partner with in advance, and they will be given first priority over other agencies.
Who provides the Food Rescue bins for the students to put unopened food into? The schools provide the bins or boxes. If a plastic bin is used that belongs to the school, the agency will bring their own storage containers to transport the food.
Do you have any pictures of the bins? Yes. Click on Active Schools at K12FoodRescue.com
Who do we call if the agency is not picking up at the scheduled time? A direct call to the agency is always best, but if the problem is recurring, Food Rescue will solve the problem by seeking another partner if the issue is unable to be resolved.
How many times a week will an agency pick up and when? 1 or 2 times a week is typical
If I'm thinking about trying to get my school district started, what are the first steps? Click on the this Getting Started link.
What about the extra food that does not get served to the students? Will an agency take that food? Some caring agencies are able to receive such food, and others are not. This would be determined on a case by case basis.
Where do you get your stats for your schools? Schools use our FREE online tracking tool and receive immediate feedback that converts food items into pounds of food rescued, and pounds of CO2e prevented from entering the environment, as seen below on the IMPACT DASHBOARD.