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. These documents can be seen in #1 Here.
Are there federal guidelines written? The USDA federal guidelines are written a 2016 memo in chapter 5 seen here.
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 teachers or cafeteria staff just give the extra food to students later for a snack? While the Good Samaritan Laws protect food donors for charitable donations, some schools do not want the extra layer of responsibility perceived to go along with re-serving food that has already been served and was handled by another party.
Does Food Rescue pick up the food? No. A food pantry selected by the school district picks up the food?
Does Food Rescue choose the food pantry? No. Food Rescue recommends caring agencies 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? Yes, but in almost all cases, the school district knows their community better than Food Rescue, and has a general idea who they would like to partner with. If Food Rescue were to recommend, it would most assuredly be a pantry the local school district is already aware of, and Food Rescue recommends keeping the food within the school district.
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 from one container to the other.
Do you have any pictures of the bins? Click to See: The Bins of Food Rescue
Do you have any pictures of the cold storage coolers used for temperature controlled for safety items?
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 here.
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 called "back of the cafeteria" waste , and others are not. This would be determined on a case by case basis by the food pantry.
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.
Are there any tips from food service directors? Yes. A former IN State Nutrition Association food service director wrote some tips in the PDF file below.
How do we announce K-12 Food Rescue to our entire student body and/or parents? Download the file below.
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Has a curriculum ever been written for Project Based Learning? Yes, but it is extensive. We recommend visiting the simple 5 step Student Led Entrepreneurial Initiative page instead, which explains in 5 simple steps how students can lead the K-12 Food Rescue Project.
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Is there a manual written by a student for students? Food Rescue's inaugural National Director of Student Leadership, Hanna Wondmagegn, from East Mecklenburg HS, wrote a K-12 Food Rescue Tool Kit for students in the PDF file below.