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Ruiz, Cunningham Bill to Better Facilitate Food Donation Clears Senate

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Sandra Cunningham, which would create a website to help facilitate food donations, cleared the Senate today.

“By making it easier for individuals with surplus food to donate, while also making the process easier for organizations seeking donations, we will have better stocked food pantries and less food going to waste,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Every day, hundreds of thousands of people across New Jersey wake up unsure of where their next meal will come from. With nearly 10 percent of the state population suffering from food insecurity, it is crucial we make good use of the surplus available.”

The bill, S-3238, would require the Department of Human Services to create a website to better facilitate food donations between nonprofit organizations, gleaners and food retailers. The website would be designed to maximize communication and connectivity between entities that wish to donate and wish to receive food.

“There is more than enough food produced to feed the world’s population, unfortunately a lot of it goes bad and gets thrown away before its eaten,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “This legislation will improve communication between donors and organizations, better facilitating donations, and allowing more food to reach the people who need it, rather than going in the trash.”

The website would provide real-time information on available surplus food, entities in need of food and logistical resources available. It would be run by the state or by a nonprofit organization. The website would include information regarding donors, the food they have available and nonprofit organizations available to receive food.

The bill is part of an anti-hunger package which will help address food waste and food insecurity in New Jersey.

The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 38-0.