Knesset Passes Food Donation Act

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Leket Israel is excited to announce that a campaign that it started ten years ago and led by MK Uri Maklev with support from MK Eli Alaluf has become a reality. The Food Donation Act was passed in the Knesset plenum on the heels of World Food Day (October 16th). This law has also been vigorously promoted by MKs Moshe Gafni, Yechiel ‘Hilik’ Bar, Orli Levi Abekasis, Shuli Muallem and Moti Yogev, in cooperation with Leket Israel.

The Food Donation Act, similar to the United States Bill Emerson Act, absolves food donors, non-profit organizations and staff and volunteers at the non-profit organizations from criminal and civil liability, provided they adhere to the food safety requirements set forth by the Ministry of Health.

Today, Israel joins a small and select group of only five countries in the world (US, Canada, New Zealand and Italy) who have a similar law which encourages the collection of excess food and protects the donors and organizations that distribute it.

As written in the explanatory notes of the law, over the years, Israel’s population suffering from food insecurity has grown and includes many children. Restaurants, banquet halls, corporate dining rooms, retail chains and hotels avoid donating excess food and prefer to let it go to waste for fear of civil or criminal liability for damage caused by the food donated.

Gidi Kroch, Leket Israel’s CEO: “1.8 million Israelis suffer from food insecurity while 2.3 million tons of food at a value of NIS 19.5 billion is thrown away annually. The Food Donation Act opens the door to hundreds of organizations and businesses that have quality and substantial amounts of surplus food but do not currently donate out of fear from liability. According to estimates, the law will triple the scope of food donations, and will expand food rescue on a national level. In this, lies a tremendous opportunity to address food insecurity and reduce social gaps in Israel. In addition, Israel is now putting food rescue on the map and joining what today is only a short list of countries with similar legislation to not only provide more nutritious food for those in need but to significantly reduce food waste.”

MK Uri Maklev: “In Israel, every third child suffers from hunger and every fourth person from poverty. We have to make an effort to find a solution. There are solutions, restaurant owners, hotels and organizations should not be throwing away food since destroying food is like destroying the soul.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)