HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2018
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to food donation.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
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 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 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 800,000,000 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, feed for livestock, and other resources that contribute to
greenhouse gas emissions and add pollutants to the environment. Food waste entering landfills creates methane gas,
a greenhouse gas that is eighty-four times more potent than carbon
dioxide. Worldwide, wasted food accounts
for approximately eight per cent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan 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) Clarifying and expanding liability protections for good-faith food donors;
(2) Allowing the donation of expired food when the donor makes a good-faith judgment that the food is unspoiled; and
(3) Requiring 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.
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:
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.
A charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization [
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.
This section shall not relieve any organization or government entity
from any other duty imposed [
upon them] by law for the inspection of
donated food products or for any provisions regarding the handling of [ such]
(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.
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 upon its approval.
Food Donation; Liability Protection
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.
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.