Congressional “Action”

The Federal government is finally dipping its sizable toe into the food waste waters. Last week, Missouri congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson introduced legislation that could become The Federal Food Donation Act of 2007 (HR 4220).

If it passes, the bill would “encourage” most federal agencies to donate “excess, apparently wholesome food” to the hungry via non-profit groups. Jeffrey Connor, an Emerson spokesperson, said that despite the non-binding language, the act would prove effective:

courtesy of Schoolhouse RockThe hope is that contractors will look at that clause and begin to view minimizing food waste as a responsibility under the contract. It puts it on the table.

Yet, to paraphrase Schoolhouse Rock, it’s just a bill. HR 4220 was sent to committee last week, and Connor said it’s too early to know its fate. While he noted that the vast majority of bills don’t even come to a vote, he said:

This seems like it ought to be an issue that will appeal to members of congress across the political spectrum.  

 Regardless of how it fares, the bill is a promising sign that wasted food is beginning to creep into our nation’s conscience.

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In local news, my article summing up the problem of American food waste is now online at Culinate.

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