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WW, Grubhub, 63 Others Release Open Letter to Congress to Fight Food Waste and Insecurity

Company Release - 04/27/2022

Open Letter

In partnership with the undersigned companies and organizations, both the House and Senate have introduced bills that address two of the three major concerns outlined in the original open letter (S.3281, H.R.6251). As a result, the open letter has been updated to specifically address the Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021, as well as display the increase in organizations and companies who have given their support.  More below: 

  • The updated open letter calls on Congress to pass the Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021 You can find the original open letter here.
  • The 65 signatories, which are corporate partners, nonprofits, school districts, cities, and mayor’s offices, include Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, Panera Bread, City Harvest, and more. You can find the Food Donation Improvement Act open letter here

To Congress: 

We write to you today to discuss the issue of food insecurity and food waste in the United States. During the coronavirus pandemic, levels of food insecurity increased dramatically: In 2021, an unprecedented 42 million people were estimated to have experienced food insecurity.

At the same time, $408 billion is spent processing, transporting, storing, and disposing of food that’s never eaten each year, meaning millions of pounds of fresh food goes to waste. 

The issue is not so much lack of food—it’s the inability to effectively leverage our food system to get food where it serves its most beneficial purpose. In 1996, Congress passed the bipartisan Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (42 U.S. Code § 1791),  which was designed to encourage companies to donate their surplus food and grocery products to nonprofits. While the act provides civil and criminal liability protection to food donors and food recovery organizations, some parts of it are unclear. So many food manufacturers, retailers, farmers, and restaurants still cite fear of liability as one of the main reasons they don’t donate.  

That is why we, the undersigned companies and nonprofits, urge you to support the bipartisan Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021 (S.3281/H.R.6251), which would help increase food donation and reduce food waste by updating long-standing food donation liability protections. Enactment of this legislation would help a wider number of organizations to donate and rescue surplus food in three key ways: 

  • It extends liability protections to food that is sold at an extremely discounted price (i.e. food sold at a social supermarket) as current law only protects food donations where the end participant receives food free of charge.
  • It extends liability protections to certain direct donations made by qualified donors directly to those in need. Current law only covers donations to nonprofits, which creates an unnecessary barrier for grocers, restaurants, school food authorities, and other organizations looking to donate food directly to those in need. 
  • It directs USDA to clarify the quality and labeling standards that donated food products must meet to be eligible for liability protection. 

Additionally, the Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021 has bicameral, bipartisan support. It was introduced by Senators Blumenthal and Toomey in the Senate and Representatives McGovern, Pingree, Newhouse, and Walorski in the House. At the time of writing, the bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Reschenthaler, Wild, Brown, Keller, Hayes, Norton, Stansbury, Maloney, Panetta, Salazar, Gottheimer, Velazquez, Veasey, Meng, Lee, Kuster, Case, Dean, Jackson, Espaillat, Casten, Malinowski, McBath, Bass, Fitzpatrick, McKinley, Stefanik, Blumenauer, and Wilson as well as Senators Braun and Booker.

We believe that passing the Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021 is a crucial step toward making food security a reality, and we urge members of Congress to consider supporting the bill, as well as prioritizing its passing. Thank you for your attention, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you on this important issue.

The undersigned companies and nonprofit organizations include: 

WW International, Inc.
New York, NY

Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic
Cambridge, MA

Grubhub
Chicago, IL

Ahold Delhaize USA
Salisbury, NC

Beyond Hunger
Oak Park, IL 

Blue Apron
New York, NY

Bread for the World
Washington, DC

ButcherBox
Boston, MA

Center for EcoTechnology
Pittsfield, MA

The City of Chicago
Chicago, IL

City Harvest
New York, NY

Clean Memphis
Memphis, TN

Concordia College-Moorhead
Moorhead, MN

DC Central Kitchen
Washington, D.C.

Denver Mayor's Office
Denver, CO

Dole Packaged Foods, LLC
Westlake Village, CA

Eat Just, Inc. 
San Francisco, CA

Environmental Health and Food Safety
Memphis, TN

Farmer's Fridge
Chicago, IL

Farmstead
Burlingame, CA

Food for Climate League
Chicago, IL

The Food Depot
Santa Fe, NM

Food For Free
Cambridge, MA

Food Link
Arlington, MA

Food Recovery Network
Washington, D.C.

Food Rescue US - Detroit
Detroit, MI

Food Rescue US
Stamford, CT

Food Tank
Baltimore, MD 

Global Cooking School, LLC
Deland, FL

Goodr
Atlanta, GA

Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council
Cincinnati, OH

Hellmann’s
Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Hope's Harvest
Providence, Rhode Island

Hunger Network Food Rescue
Cleveland, OH

Illinois Environmental Council
Springfield, IL 

Impossible Foods
Redwood City, CA

Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Washington, DC

JEE Foods
Hamilton, OH

Just Food of Douglas County
Lawrence, KS

Just Salad
New York, NY

Keep Austin Fed
Austin, TX 

The Kroger Co.
Cincinnati, OH

Los Gatos Union School District
Los Gatos, CA

Lovin’ Spoonfuls
Boston, MA

Make Food Not Waste
Detroit, MI

Misfits Market
Delanco, NJ

Midwest Food Bank
Normal, IL

Midwest Food Connection
Minneapolis, MN

Natural Resources Defense Council
New York, NY

New Wave Foods
San Francisco, CA

Northern Virginia Food Rescue
Manassas, VA

Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and Social Center
Cincinnati, OH

Panera Bread
St. Louis, MO

Peninsula Food Runners Organization
San Francisco, CA

Replate
San Francisco, CA

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine 
New York, NY

Rethink Food
New York, NY

Share My Meals
Princeton, NJ

Second Servings of Houston
Houston, TX

Too Good To Go
New York, NY

Unilever United States
Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Upcycled Food Association
Greenwood Village, CO

We Don’t Waste
Denver, CO

Your Store of the Queen City
Cincinnati, OH

About WW International, Inc.

We are a human-centric technology company powered by the world's leading commercial weight management program. As a global wellness company, we inspire millions of people to adopt healthy habits for real life. Through our comprehensive digital app, expert Coaches and engaging experiences, members follow our proven, sustainable, science-based program focused on food, activity, mindset and sleep. Leveraging nearly six decades of expertise in nutritional and behavioral change science, providing real human connection and building inspired communities, our purpose is to democratize and deliver holistic wellness for all. To learn more about the WW approach to healthy living, please visit ww.com. For more information about our global business, visit our corporate website at corporate.ww.com.

This news release includes “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, in particular, any statements about the Company’s plans, strategies, objectives, and prospects. The Company generally uses the words “may,” “will,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “plan,” “intend,” “aim” and similar expressions in this news release to identify forward-looking statements. The Company bases these forward-looking statements on its current views with respect to future events and financial performance. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, among other things: the impact of the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus on the Company’s business and liquidity and on the business environment and markets in which the Company operates; competition from other weight management and wellness industry participants or the development of more effective or more favorably perceived weight management methods; the Company’s failure to continue to retain and grow its subscriber base; the Company’s ability to continue to develop new, innovative services and products and enhance its existing services and products or the failure of its services, products or brands to continue to appeal to the market, or the Company’s ability to successfully expand into new channels of distribution or respond to consumer trends; the ability to successfully implement strategic initiatives; the effectiveness of the Company’s advertising and marketing programs, including the strength of its social media presence; the impact on the Company’s reputation of actions taken by its franchisees, licensees, suppliers and other partners; the recognition of asset impairment charges; the loss of key personnel, strategic partners or consultants or failure to effectively manage and motivate the Company’s workforce; the inability to renew certain of the Company’s licenses, or the inability to do so on terms that are favorable to the Company; the expiration or early termination by the Company of leases; uncertainties related to a downturn in general economic conditions or consumer confidence; the Company’s ability to successfully make acquisitions or enter into joint ventures, including its ability to successfully integrate, operate or realize the anticipated benefits of such businesses; the seasonal nature of the Company’s business; the impact of events that discourage or impede people from gathering with others or accessing resources; the Company’s failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting; the impact of the Company’s substantial amount of debt, debt service obligations and debt covenants, and the Company’s exposure to variable rate indebtedness; the ability to generate sufficient cash to service the Company’s debt and satisfy its other liquidity requirements; uncertainties regarding the satisfactory operation of the Company’s technology or systems; the impact of data security breaches or privacy concerns, including the costs of compliance with evolving privacy laws and regulations; the Company’s ability to enforce its intellectual property rights both domestically and internationally, as well as the impact of its involvement in any claims related to intellectual property rights; risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s international operations, including regulatory, economic, political, social, intellectual property and foreign currency risks; the outcomes of litigation or regulatory actions; the impact of existing and future laws and regulations; the possibility that the interests of Artal Group S.A., the largest holder of the Company’s common stock and a shareholder with significant influence over the Company, will conflict with the Company’s interests or the interests of other holders of the Company’s common stock; the impact that the sale of substantial amounts of the Company’s common stock by existing large shareholders, or the perception that such sales could occur, could have on the market price of the Company’s common stock; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. You should understand that many important factors, including those discussed herein, could cause the Company’s results to differ materially from those expressed or suggested in any forward-looking statement. Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect new information or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this news release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or otherwise. Readers are advised to review the Company’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (which are available on the SEC’s EDGAR database at  www.sec.gov and via the Company’s website at  corporate.ww.com ).

[1] “Food Insecurity during COVID-19” Craig Gundersen, Monica Hake, Adam Dewey, Emily Engelhard. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aepp.13100

[2] “Hunger in America Is Growing.” Feeding America, www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america.

[3] “Roadmap to 2030: Reducing U.S. Food Waste by 50% and the ReFED Insights Engine” ReFED. https://refed.com/uploads/refed_roadmap2030-FINAL.pdf

[4] “FSIS Guideline to Assist with Donation of Eligible Meat & Poultry Products to Non-Profit Organizations December 2020.” Food Safety and Inspection Service, https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2021-01/FSIS-Guideline-Food-Donation.pdf

[5] “United States 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal.” Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/united-states-2030-food-loss-and-waste-reduction-goal

For more information, contact:

Social Impact:

Niyeti Shah

niyeti.shah@ww.com

Media:

Nicole Penn

nicole.penn@ww.com


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Source: WW International Inc.
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