Legislation sponsored by local Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling aimed at decreasing food waste and encouraging food bank donations from school districts was approved by the State Senate last week, and will head to the Governor’s desk. The bill will extend immunity protections of the “Food Bank Good Samaritan Act” to all New Jersey schools, and will establish voluntary guidelines for K-12 schools and institutions of higher learning to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste.
“Local schools often find themselves with excess food, but no real established means by which to donate that food to food banks or nonprofit organizations,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), “No one in our state should go hungry, and by linking schools that have unused, edible food with local food banks, we can make sure everyone gets what they need.”
Under current law, college and universities that donate food to nonprofit organizations receive legal immunity under the “Food Bank Good Samaritan Act.” The bill (A-3056) would extend that immunity to K-12 schools in order to encourage more donations of excess food. The bill would also create voluntary guidelines to help educate schools on how to eliminate food waste and establish safe, cost-effective, and sanitary means by which to donate unused and edible food to local food banks.
The bill now heads to Governor Christie for final approval.