Whelan Bill To Include Colleges In ‘Food Bank Good Samaritan Law’ Approved

Measure Would Provide Immunity from Liability for Food Donations from Institutions of Higher Education, Would Encourage More Donation to Local Food Banks

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan which would amend the State’s “Food Bank Good Samaritan Law,” to also provide institutions of higher education with immunity from liability for any donations made to local food banks was unanimously approved by the Senate today.

“At a time when our State food banks are stretched to the limit, we need to encourage food donation, not discourage it,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “By including colleges and universities under the exempted class in the ‘Food Bank Good Samaritan Law,’ we’re opening up the possibility for these institutions of higher education to donate excess food to help feed New Jerseyans in need. Rather than let this food go to waste, we should be encouraging colleges to be mindful of the needs of others.”

The bill, S-327, would amend the 1982 “Food Bank Good Samaritan Law,” to include colleges and universities in the class of food donors which would be eligible for immunity from liability. Under existing law, non-profit organizations which run food banks are unable to accept donations of perishable or prepared food, unless such donations are made by a farmer, food processor, distributor, retailer or wholesaler in the State of New Jersey. Senator Whelan’s bill would add institutions of higher education to that list.

“As our State’s college students prepare to go back to school, dining halls on campuses around the State are getting ready to once again feed these students in the upcoming academic year,” said Senator Whelan. “When these facilities have more food than is necessary, they usually have to throw out the leftovers, despite the fact that the food is still good, and despite the fact that there are people in need of a good meal in the Garden State. This bill creates a pathway to allow our colleges and universities to give something back to their surrounding communities, and ensures that, rather than waste good food, we put that food to good use for the people of New Jersey.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

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