Legislation sponsored by Senator Sam Thompson (R-Burlington, Middlesex, Ocean, Monmouth) expands liability protections for food donations and gleaning activities and clarifies existing law to ensure potential donators are not scared away by the possibility of lawsuits was signed by the governor.
Sen. Sam Thompson bill that would help reduce food waste is now law. (Flickr)
“I’m sure a lot of people don’t even know about these kinds of protections, and if they’re worried about getting sued, they might think twice before donating food,” said Thompson. “As long the food meets a few requirements, it should be going to food banks and to families in need.”
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that 30-40 percent of food ends up as food waste.
The new law provides protection to individuals donating food past the “best used by” label as long as the food is edible.
“Many times bread, peanut butter, and pasta that is heading to a landfill can provide families in need with the food they need to survive,” said Thompson. “Food that is edible should not be thrown in the trash, however, providing to our neighbors and friends in need. With this new law, we have removed hurdles from food donation and provided families with the nutrition they need.”
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