by guest blogger Cam Pascual, Food Recovery Network
Have you ever wondered about what your favorite restaurant, farmer, grocer, or caterer does with their leftover food? Some donate it to those in need. Most send it to landfills. Food Recovery Certified (FRC) is the nation’s first and only food recovery certification that differentiates and recognizes food businesses that donate their surplus food from those that don’t. To date we’ve certified 53 food businesses in 20 states. We haven’t certified any businesses in Maryland yet, but we anticipate that will change very soon.
We’re excited to partner with Community Food Rescue (CFR), our first countywide effort to certify businesses that donate food in Montgomery County. Through CFR’s new auto-matching Web app, powered by Peninsula Food Runners, it is easy for food businesses to find and donate food to hunger relief organizations. As an added incentive, Food Recovery Certified is offering the first 15 Montgomery County licensed food businesses a one year free certification—a $100 value!
Voting with Your Wallet
How do you know if businesses donate their surplus food? Look for our co-branded, green window sticker of approval proudly displayed at food establishments. Let owners know that you’re supporting their business because they are doing their part to fight food waste. Tell businesses that don’t donate their extra food how they can get started through Community Food Rescue and Food Recovery Certified.
Food Recovery is Good for Business
Food recovery efforts are on the rise and customers are increasingly interested in food businesses’ sustainability efforts. Craig Hetherington, Bon Appétit’s Executive Chef at TASTE says, “Our customers care about the community and the environment, and they want to know that we care, too. Bon Appétit cafes have increasingly been donating our surplus food to hungry people. Food Recovery Certified is helping us communicate this to our customers in a compelling way.”
Food recovery not only helps businesses connect with their community by feeding those in need, but most businesses can receive an enhanced tax deduction for donating their food, boosting their bottom line. Thanks to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act, all food donors are protected from liability. In fact, the Arkansas School of Law’s The Food Recovery Project reports there hasn’t been one lawsuit against a food donor. Donating food is also good for the environment. That’s why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strongly encourage food businesses to donate their food. The EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge highlights businesses that are pioneering in food recovery.
If you know businesses that donate surplus food but aren’t recognized for their work fighting food waste and feeding people, tell them how they can be a pioneer in Montgomery County through Community Food Rescue and Food Recovery Certified.