Three years ago, a bill proposal was submitted in the Knesset to encourage the rescue of surplus food. This bill was brought forth by MKs Uri Maklev, Moshe Gafni, Hilik Bar, Orli Levi-Abekasis, Shuli Muallem and Moti Yogev in cooperation with Leket Israel – The National Food Bank.
The proposal seeks to encourage food donation by donors and protect them from criminal and civil liability. This is an outcome of a growing need in the field since donations are not being made due to fear of criminal prosecution. As explained in the language of the legislation, over the years, the Israeli population living in food insecurity has grown and amongst this group, are many children.
This is similar to the law that has been in existence in the United States for more than 20 years at the federal level, the Bill Emerson Food Donation Act, also known as the Good Samaritan Law.
MK Uri Maklev: “There are many organizations that are interested in donating surplus food, but due to their concerns and fears of liability, they destroy the food rather than donate it to the people who need it most. It is our obligation to help and encourage anyone who wants to donate and not to prevent it.”
MK Hilik Bar: “This legislation minimizes social gaps and brings food to those hungry for bread. Leket Israel does an extremely important job and this Food Donation Act is a critical step in reaching this goal.”
Gidi Kroch, Leket Israel’s CEO: “After a decade long campaign, filled with disappointments and much negotiation, this is a huge milestone. The government is cooperating, and we have a meeting set with the Ministry of Justice at the end of the month.”
Kroch continues, “Through Leket Israel’s food rescue work, we have come to realize that with this legislation, Leket would triple the amount of its hot meal collection from those that fear legal liability. In other words, the bill would significantly contribute to minimizing hunger in Israel.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)