I am very pleased to announce that the Food Donation Improvements Act has passed both the US Senate and House of Representatives and is now heading to President Biden’s desk for final approval! It is a major bipartisan achievement.
And the FDIA is truly a victory for the food movement. This is a very important step in ending both hunger and food waste!
Food Tank has a long history of working with great partners to tackle food waste and food waste. High impact and easy to fix, he should be one of your top priorities. Hunger is embarrassingly high in the United States, and so is food waste. We waste millions of tons of perfectly good food, but those in need don’t eat it. Congress passed a law protecting food donations in the 1990s, but it has not been updated to date.
FDIA will strengthen existing protections to better support businesses, manufacturers, retailers, farmers and restaurants in donating surplus food. The legislation was supported by a coalition including the Harvard Law School Food Law Policy Clinic, WeightWatchers International, Food Recovery Network, Bread For The World, NRDC, Healthy Living Coalition, and many organizations and individuals.
And, most importantly, I want to thank you. So many of you sent letters, attended programs at the Capitol, participated in virtual discussions with policy makers, and called representatives. Here’s proof that all this work really does make a difference.
Niyeti Shah of WeightWatchers International told Food Tank that the passage was a “monumental victory for food policy”.
“We have proven that Congress, businesses, nonprofits and citizens are ready to make food the star,” Shah said. “Thank you to the 73 businesses, 58 bipartisan lawmakers and over 60,000 citizens who made this happen. We know this is just the beginning.”
Anti-hunger superhero and U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern addressed the bill just before it passed the House, urging his colleagues to support it. did.
“Hunger is inevitable,” he said. “There is no shortage of food. We have a mismatch between abundance and need. This mismatch can be resolved by passing this common-sense, bipartisan bill.”
The bill is backed in the Senate by Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and others. The House was attended by Congressmen including Sherri Pingree (D-Maine), Dan Newhouse (R-Washington), and the late Jackie Wororski, who died tragically this summer. I spoke with these policymakers and other advocates at an event a few months ago.
Again, the bill passed with bipartisan support. This is an important reminder that our food and agriculture systems can connect both sides of the aisle. Laws help solve hunger, support farmers, protect workers and the planet. It’s an ethical choice.
The incredible support for this bill also underscores that the food movement has great momentum right now.Food advocates need to rise to the occasion. Celebrate our victories and stay committed to the difficult and necessary work of systemic transformation in food and agriculture.
Our advocacy for improving food donations wouldn’t have been possible without you. Support from our global community of readers, listeners and members drives our work. If you would like to join us in our efforts to bring about tangible change in food systems around the world, please consider becoming a member here.
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Photo credit: Melanie Lim, Unsplash
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