Seen in: Mid-Hudson News
ALBANY – Legislation that would create guidelines for school districts to donate unused food to food pantries, soup kitchens and other community organizations is on its way to the governor’s desk.

The proposal would authorize the state education department to establish guidelines for districts to voluntarily offer unused food to those organizations and Susan Zimet, executive director of the Hunger Action Network of New York State, hailed the effort to make sure children’s bellies are full.

“Those that are hungry and in need of the food will be able to get this food and eat this food,” Zimet said. “Many of the kids that would probably have eaten in their own school will now be able to eat the meal at the local soup kitchen or food pantry without having to go without eating.”

The legislation has been before state lawmakers for eight years.

“Allowing schools to donate unused food from cafeterias presents a great opportunity to help feed those in need,” said State Senator Jeffrey Klein (D, Bronx), a sponsor of the measure.  “This legislation is a common sense solution to do just that while at the same time preventing food from going to waste.”

Zimet also noted the bill also benefits the environment as food waste decomposing in landfills contributes 90 percent of landfill methane emissions, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.