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FOOD RESCUE PLAN – A Step-by-Step Overview for Event Managers & Planners

A food rescue plan is a “contingency plan”; there is always a chance that you will NOT have food left over to donate, so avoid disappointment by letting key stakeholders know this in advance.

A successful food rescue requires advance planning. This brief guide will help in your planning process.

  • The Event Manager or Planner indicates a desire to stage a food rescue; include in the RFP
  • Negotiate the contract clause that reflects agreement on what to do IF food is left over
  • Identify a local charity, contact the charity and determine a game plan, IN CASE there is food left over (generally shelters/soup kitchens for prepared foods, food pantries/food banks for packaged foods)
  • Determine if the charity has an appropriate (e.g. refrigerated) truck or van and can pick up immediately after event OR secure alternate refrigeration/transportation arrangements
  • Identify/appoint a Food Rescue Coordinator (FRC). Could be a staff of planner, client, facility or charity
  • Invite FRC to appropriate planning and pre-convention meetings
  • Develop collection and logistics plan with FRC
    • Determine type/form of potential leftover food, if packaged, as in food show, if prepared, as in banqueting event, or if both, as in food festival, etc.
    • Determine if boxes or aluminum pans/lids will be needed, estimate number and who will supply
    • Print up brightly-colored stickers for “Food Rescue” to be applied to boxes, pans, etc.
    • Determine if other equipment (e.g. Queen Mary, carts, pallets) is needed at the venue to collect food
    • Secure permission from the facility for a food rescue team to circulate event (security, catering, loading dock) and to stage truck (if required) at/near the loading dock, service entrance.
    • Plan communications with head chef/vendors/purveyors/other chefs advising procedure for leftovers, where they will go, who they will benefit, the language on Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act
    • Please ensure that any necessary instructions/permissions are included in BEO
    • FRC plans volunteer needs and develops recruitment plan; can charity provide volunteers?
    • Plan for volunteers’ presence at event: i.e. parking, gathering point, dress requirements, credential requirements, name tags (suggest brightly-colored), meals or refreshments, if for an extended time
    • Finally…EXECUTE!!

Helpful Links:
Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act and/or Other Legal Links that protect client & venue (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/1791) ; (http://www.feedingamerica.org/ways-to-give/give-food/become-a-product-partner/protecting-our-food-partners.html)
How to locate food pantries in the area of your event (http://www.foodpantries.org/)
How to locate food banks in the area of your event (http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/)
How to locate homeless shelters by zip code (http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/)
Updated tax incentive information (http://healthyfoodbankhub.feedingamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/mp/files/tool_and_resources/files/feeding-america-2016-food-donation-tax-law-changes.pdf

For additional questions, contact: GMICFCN@gmail.com

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