HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO FOOD DONATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that more than ten per cent of Hawaii residents, including tens of thousands of children and seniors, are food insecure and receive food assistance through nonprofit organizations and government programs. Despite high levels of food insecurity, Hawaii businesses and residents discard more than 237,000 tons of food waste per year.
The legislature further finds that approximately twenty-six per cent of food grown in or imported to Hawaii is thrown away, amounting to approximately $1,000,000,000 in annual food waste. Worldwide, an estimated one-third of the food raised or prepared goes to waste, despite more than eight hundred million people worldwide experiencing hunger.
The legislature recognizes that food production is a direct contributor to local and global climate change. Food production requires energy, fertilizer, irrigation, livestock feed, and other resources that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and add pollutants to the environment. Food waste entering landfills creates methane gas, a shorter lived greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide but which is eighty-four times more potent than carbon dioxide in the two decades after its release. Worldwide, wasted food accounts for approximately eight per cent of all human-based greenhouse gas emissions.
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was passed by the United States Congress in 1996 to protect good-faith food donors from civil and criminal liability and to encourage the donation of food that would otherwise go to waste. Despite these protections, much of the wholesome surplus food in Hawaii and in other states is discarded instead of donated. A California survey found that forty-four per cent of manufacturers, forty-one per cent of restaurants, and twenty-five per cent of retailers identified fear of liability as their primary barrier to donating surplus food.
The purpose of this Act is to discourage food waste and encourage food donation to needy recipients by:
(1) Requiring education about food donation liability protections to be made a part of the health inspection process, for purposes of educating food establishments; and
(2) Allowing the donation of perishable and nonperishable food from institutions that comply with commercial food safety requirements if the donor or distributor reasonably believes that the food is fit for human consumption.
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 education of the establishments' owners, managers, or appropriate agents on the existence and operation of chapter 145D. The department shall publish and distribute to food establishments materials that explain 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 the
use or distribution by a charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization 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 [ such] damages [ as may] that
result from the donor's gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.
A charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization [
which in good
faith] that receives food[ ,] pursuant to subsection (a)
that is apparently fit for human consumption[ ,] and distributes it in
good faith 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
This section shall not relieve any organization from any other duty
upon them] by law for the inspection of donated food products
or for any provisions regarding the handling of [ such] those products.
(d) The exception to liability specified in subsection (a) shall include the donation of perishable or nonperishable food from institutions that comply with commercial food safety requirements; provided that the good-faith donor or distributor reasonably believes that the food is fit for human consumption."
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.
person] donor who donates goods, [ food,]
materials, or services 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
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 1, 2019.
Food Donation; Charitable Donations; Liability Protection
Includes education about exemption from food donation liability in the health inspection process for food establishments. Provides an exception from liability for good-faith donors and distributors of perishable and nonperishable food who comply with commercial food safety requirements and reasonably believe that the food is fit for human consumption. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.