HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO HEALTH.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that more than thirty-five thousand Hawaii households are food insecure and receive food assistance through nonprofit organizations and government programs. These households include tens of thousands of the State's most vulnerable residents: children and seniors. Despite the high level of food insecurity, Hawaii businesses and residents discard more than 237,000 tons of food waste annually.
The legislature further finds that the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act was passed by the United States Congress in 1996 to encourage the donation of food that would otherwise go to waste by protecting good faith food donors from civil and criminal liability. Extending similar liability protections to good faith food donors in Hawaii will discourage food waste and encourage food donation to needy recipients.
The purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Require that education about food donation liability protections be made a part of the health inspection process so that food establishments are aware of these provisions;
(2) Allow the donation of expired food when the donor makes a good faith judgment that the food is unspoiled; and
(3) Clarify and expand liability protections for good-faith food donors.
SECTION 2. Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§321- Promotion of food donation. The inspection of food establishments pursuant to this chapter shall include educating owners, managers, or appropriate agents of food establishments on the existence and operation of chapter 145D. The department shall publish and distribute to food establishments materials that include an explanation of the exceptions to liability in section 145D-2."
SECTION 3. Section 145D-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
§145D-2[ ]] Exceptions to liability. (a)
Any donor of food products, who in good faith donates the food [ for]:
(1) Directly; or
(2) For the use or distribution by a charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization, or government entity;
to needy persons shall not be liable for any civil
damages or criminal penalties for any injuries or illnesses including, but not
limited to injuries or illnesses resulting from the nature, age, condition,
packaging, or handling of the donated food products, except for [
damages [ as may] that result from the donor's gross negligence or
wanton acts or omissions.
(b) A charitable, religious, or nonprofit
which], or government entity that, pursuant to
subsection (a), in good faith receives food, apparently fit for human
consumption, and distributes it to needy persons at no charge, shall not be
liable for any civil damages or criminal penalties resulting from the condition
of the food unless an injury or illness results from its gross negligence, or
wanton acts or omissions.
(c) This section shall not relieve any
organization or government entity from any other duty imposed [
them] by law for the inspection of donated food products or for any
provisions regarding the handling of [ such] those products.
(d) The exceptions to liability specified in subsection (a) shall include:
(1) The donation of perishable or nonperishable food that has exceeded the labeled shelf life date recommended by the manufacturer; and
(2) The donation of farm produce, including where the needy person is directly involved in the harvest of the donated food;
provided that the donor that donates, or the organization or government entity that distributes, the food in good faith to the needy person reasonably believes that the food is fit for human consumption.
As used in this section, "farm produce" means all agricultural, horticultural, and vegetable produce of the soil, poultry, poultry products, livestock, and livestock products, but shall not include timber or timber products."
SECTION 4. Section 663-10.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:
"(a) Any charitable or nonprofit organization that
in good faith provides shelter or proper means of subsistence to needy persons
as part of its bona fide and customary charitable activities, rendered without
remuneration or expectation of remuneration, shall be exempt from civil
liability for injuries and damages resulting from the organization's acts or
omissions in providing [
such] the shelter or subsistence, except
for gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions of the organization.
(b) Any [
person] donor who donates
goods, [ food,] materials, or services [ to]:
(1) Directly to a needy person; or
(2) To a charitable or nonprofit organization described in subsection (a);
shall be exempt from civil liability for injuries and damages resulting from the donation, except for gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions."
SECTION 5. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 31, 2150.
Food Donation; Liability Protection; DOH
Requires the Department of Health to educate food establishments about liability protections. Expands liability protection for donors to include donations of food and similar donations made directly to needy persons. Authorizes the donation of expired food when the donor believes in good faith that the food remains fit for human consumption. (HB675 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.