Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Liability Information



Liability and risk management will inevitably be part of the conversation when you are talking with your school’s staff and dining representatives. However, The Campus Kitchens Project has compiled recommended resources and best practices to keep your Campus Kitchen (and school) safe from liability concerns.  Below you will find the recommended standards that our Campus Kitchens typically follow to manage liability.

National legislation- Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

Every school with a Campus Kitchen is protected under The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, national legislation enacted in 1996. This act protects all those (including dining halls) who donate leftover food in “good faith” to needy individuals in their community. The Bill Emerson Act extends the same liability protection to the nonprofit organizations that receive and distribute donated food. Thus, except in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, donors and qualified recipients of appropriately recovered food have robust protection against liability associated with their food donations.

Want to learn more? Here is additional information:

Good Samaritan Act FAQs

Legal Guide to Food Recovery

Full Text of Food Donation Act

History of excellence 

Remember that since The Campus Kitchens Project’s inception 15 years ago, across our network of over 50 schools, we have never had a single liability issue of food-borne illness due to improper food handling or preparation. This is being done all across the country, every single day, in kitchens just like yours, at schools large and small. If you would like to talk to a dining service director/GM at a current Campus Kitchen to learn even more, let us know and we will connect you with an appropriate dining service provider.

Food tracking and saftey

So how do we ensure that the food is handled in “good faith”? All Campus Kitchens are asked to maintain a comprehensive food safety and tracking system as part of its compliance and reporting. This is called a HACCP system. Using our paperwork system, students will be able to track the temperature and location of every food donation from the time it is donated to the time it is prepared, delivered and served. That’s a promise to help keep your clients safe, your volunteers accountable and your dining services team feeling secure and motivated to help you with food recovery. We have created this tracking system alongside a nationally trusted and esteemed dining service provider and it goes above and beyond industry standards on food safety best practices. Each Campus Kitchen will receive access to and training on this paperwork system once a contract has been signed to begin operations.

For more information about our HACCP paperwork system download these additional resources:

What is HACCP?

Paperwork overview

Safety in the kitchen

How do we handle training students in the kitchen? In addition to protection from national legislation and comprehensive training and tools, each Campus Kitchen must have at least 4-6 students/staff that are ServSafe certified to lead their shifts in the kitchen. This is the same certification that any dining service staff member would receive. These student leaders or staff will always be present at any shift that deals with handling food and working in the kitchen space since they will be the ones leading other volunteers. Campus Kitchens national staff are available to proctor ServSafe exams for students when visiting campuses for their set-up visit. Dining service staff would only have to train these key student leaders on their specific kitchen safety standards once a semester (though many choose to take a more active role in the Campus Kitchen).

The Campus Kitchens Project also provides volunteer waivers, driver waivers and client consent forms to all network Campus Kitchens to use to help ensure that potential risk is controlled and tracked beyond just the kitchen.


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