Congress Passes the Meals Donation Enhance Act – Meals Tank

The Home and Senate have handed laws to curb meals waste whereas decreasing meals insecurity. The invoice, often called the Meals Donation Enchancment Act, is now heading to the President’s desk for President Biden’s signature.

“Starvation is inevitable. We stay in a wealthy nation,” says Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts). “There may be loads of meals for everybody.”

Corporations usually discard secure and wholesome meals for worry of being held accountable if donated merchandise make somebody sick. However the Meals Donation Enchancment Act expands protections for producers, retailers, farmers, and eating places to encourage donations. It additionally makes it simpler for companies to donate meals on to individuals in want.

“This invoice will take away authorized boundaries that discourage meals donations by eating places, retailers and others,” mentioned Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

The bipartisan invoice handed the Senate unanimously, whereas the Home handed it by voice vote.

“Selling and enabling secure surplus meals donations is a extremely efficient and easy software for curbing meals waste, decreasing greenhouse gasoline emissions, and addressing meals insecurity.” Emily Broad Rabe, FLPC, director of the Harvard Legislation Faculty Meals Legislation and Coverage Clinic, tells Meals Tank.

In keeping with the U.S. Division of Agriculture, about 34 million individuals lived in food-insecure households in the US in 2021. However a few third of surplus meals results in landfills, the place greenhouse gases are emitted, studies the nonprofit ReFED. Solely 3.5% of meals was donated in 2019.

“We’re not working out of meals,” McGovern mentioned. “We have now a mismatch between abundance and want.”

The invoice’s passage follows advocacy by companies and civil society organizations which have referred to as on Congress to deal with this disparity. In 2021, a coalition of companies and nonprofits launched an open letter urging Congress to move the Higher Meals Giving Act.

And final summer time, meals waste advocates held an academic occasion on the Capitol to assist policymakers perceive the invoice’s significance. The Wholesome Dwelling Coalition, WeightWatchers Worldwide, Grubhub, FLPC, Pure Assets Protection Council, and Bread for the World have been among the many organizers behind the convening.

Niyeti Shah, senior supervisor of social impression at WeighWatchers, calls the victory “a monumental victory for meals coverage.”

“We have now confirmed that Congress, companies, nonprofits and residents are able to make meals the star,” Shah instructed Meals Tank. “Thanks to the 73 companies, 58 bipartisan lawmakers and over 60,000 residents who made this occur. We all know that is just the start.”

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Picture credit score: Ismael Paramo, Unsplash

Author: ZeroToHero

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