Establish a policy to donate unused edible food to a local food bank, shelter, or charity.

Activity Category: Diverting Food for Human Consumption

Activity: Establish a policy to donate unused edible food to a local food bank, shelter, or charity

Photo from USDA
Photo from USDA

Rationale: After source reduction, diverting food from the landfill in order to feed hungry people is the second most desirable category of actions on the US EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy. The hunger-relief organization Feeding America has reported that in 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. Meanwhile, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 40 percent of food in the US goes uneaten. It only makes sense to divert as much of that uneaten food to the people who need it as possible, rather than allowing it to go to the landfill. By establishing a policy to donate the unused edible food from your school or district to a local food bank, shelter, or charity, you’ll be fighting waste, fighting hunger, and setting an example of social responsibility for students. Furthermore, federal law (the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act) protects individuals and organizations (including schools) which donate food in good faith from criminal and civil liability.

Activity Description: Establish a new policy at your school or school district within after signing up for the Challenge to ensure that unused, edible food from school food service is donated to a local food bank, food pantry, shelter, or other relevant charity.

Earn Challenge Points (200 points): Submit a copy of the food donation policy in PDF or Word format, clearly indicating the date upon which the policy was adopted. This file should be emailed to Joy Scrogum at