About 40 percent of food in the United States is thrown in the trash, and a new state law in Kentucky could reduce food waste while helping feed people in need. The federal Good Samaritan Food Donation Act already encourages food-related businesses to donate food that would otherwise go to waste by offering protection from criminal and civil liability. Now, a state law reinforces it. Governor Mike Bevin signed House Bill 237, which Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles explains offers enhanced immunity for donors.
The new law provides grocery stores, restaurants, caterers and other organizations protection from liability due to the nature, age, packaging or condition of the food donated. It also clarifies the definition of “apparently fit grocery product” as an item that meets all consumer safety standards regardless of date labeling.
One in six Kentuckians struggles with hunger, and Quarles notes many are children and seniors.
H-B 237 was developed by Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Initiative, which Quarles says is working to maximize opportunities to get food to struggling Kentuckians.