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Whelan Bill To Include Colleges In ‘Food Bank Good Samaritan Law’ Sent To Governor’s Desk

Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic)

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 approved by the Assembly today and sent to the governor’s desk for his signature to make it law.

“At a time when our food banks are stretched to the limit, we need to encourage food donation, not discourage it,” said Whelan, D-Atlantic. “By including colleges and universities under our existing law we can open up the possibility for these institutions to donate excess food to help feed New Jerseyans in need. Rather than letting 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 New Jersey.

“Dining halls on campuses around the state are tossing out excess food that could go to help people in need of a good meal,” said Senator Whelan. “This pathway would allow our colleges and universities to give something back to their surrounding communities, and ensure that, rather than waste good food, we put that food to good use for the people of New Jersey.”

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