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Food donation policy: a pathway to reduce food loss and waste & alleviate hunger

The Atlas evaluates the legal landscape of food loss and waste around the world and offers recommendations to expand food donation.

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Children living in the indigenous community Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Temon receive food from Kechara Soup Kitchen, a GFN member food bank. (Photo: The Global FoodBanking Network/Annice Lyn)

We have enough food to feed everyone in the world.

Yet, a third of the world's food is lost or wasted while up to 783 million people experience hunger. Food donation can be a solution to this paradox, but confusing laws and gaps in national legal frameworks prevent food from being donated. Without the right policies in place, we cannot make meaningful strides toward reducing food loss and waste and alleviating hunger.

Doug O'Brien, vice president of programs at The Global FoodBanking Network, and Emily Leib, faculty director of Harvard Law School's Food Law & Policy Clinic, deliver remarks about The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas
Doug O'Brien, vice president of programs at The Global FoodBanking Network, and Emily Leib, faculty director of Harvard Law School's Food Law & Policy Clinic, deliver remarks about The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas. (Photo: Ken Jones Photography)

The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas identifies solutions.

The Atlas' groundbreaking research identifies the legal issues most relevant to food waste and donation as well as policy barriers and opportunities, providing policymakers with the tools they need to drive change.

Mapping food donation policies around the world

The Atlas evaluates laws and policies across the most relevant issue areas relating to food donation and food loss and waste. Explore the map to compare and contrast existing legislation and learn from best practices around the world.

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With The Atlas in hand, countries have a policy roadmap to reduce food loss and waste.

A staff member of Dew Crisp Farm gathers surplus cabbage to be donated to FoodForward SA.
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countries enacted new national food loss and waste or food donation policies

Since 2019, six Atlas countries have passed a national food donation law or created a national plan or strategy to reduce food loss and waste.

A food bank staff member helps a farm owner carry a crate of donated produce.
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countries enacted new or enhanced liability protections

Since 2019, five Atlas countries strengthened liability protections for food donors or food recovery organizations.

Staff from Banco de Alimentos Perú (BAP) and agency partner ESMIRNA collect surplus satsuma mandarins donated by La Calera Agrícola.
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countries implemented food safety for donation policies

Since 2019, five Atlas countries introduced food safety laws or guidance to clarify food safety for donations.

Find tools and resources to advance food recovery and address hunger

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Policy Issue Areas

The Atlas focuses on seven major legal and policy issues that impact food loss and waste and recovery. We research best practices in these areas and recommend policy solutions to reduce food waste and encourage food donation.

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Country Research

We research food waste and food recovery policies in a growing number of countries. Our country-specific resources include detailed legal guides, policy recommendations, and executive summaries.

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About The Atlas

Learn more about the project, its history, and the team leading this research.

Recent news & highlights on The Atlas

Learn more about The Atlas and how to support our work.

Explore the Map

Compare and contrast food recovery legislation and learn from best practices around the world.

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About Us

Learn about the project and the partners behind this flagship research.

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Contact Us

Connect with our project team and learn about opportunities to join and support our work.