Share My Meals’ leadership meets with legislators in support of amendment to Food Donation Improvement Act

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Share My Meals is part of a coalition of organizations promoting an amendment to a legislation that would give food donors clarity on food donation liability protection and grant them more flexibility to donate food that otherwise would go wasted.

On July 12, Share My Meals’ President and Co-founder Isabelle Lambotte met with members of the legislative team of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1), according to a press release through Share My Meals on July 13.

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“The Food Donation Improvement Act (FDIA) will broaden protection to reassure food donors on their liability and will increase awareness on the two intertwined problems of food insecurity and food waste,” Lambotte said. “We strongly support the FDIA as it will help fight food waste and facilitate food donations.”

The Share My Meals team represented by Lambotte, Victoire Cleren and Stan Berteloot, attended a recent event hosted by Food Tank and WW International, policymakers, business leaders and food waste experts advocating for Congress to pass a new Bill intended to keep surplus food out of landfills and redirect it to those in need, according to the press release.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to advocate on our mission and to meet with other organizations. As we all share the same objective, we understood the importance to work together to develop and implement common food safety protocols and share our operational technology tools, two major drawbacks to recover more meals,” Lambotte said.

The food service providers have committed to zero food waste by 2030. They have been very active in the first layer of the food waste pyramid which is the food waste prevention. They are all very tempted by the food donation as a next step but scared about the liability and unable to manage the logistics behind food donation. This is where the FDIA comes into play.

The bipartisan FDIA, recently introduced to the Senate by Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will update the existing Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, passed by Congress in 1996.

The new Bill will strengthen liability protections for food businesses, including manufacturers, retailers, farmers, and restaurants who wish to donate surplus food. It will also clarify existing guidance and best practices to help businesses donate food safely and without the risk of litigation, according to the press release.

To help garner additional support for the FDIA, companies including WW International are raising awareness about the Bill and are calling on Congress to pass it, according to the press release.

Share My Meals was created in Jan. 2020 and fights both food insecurity and the environmental impact of food waste by recovering and delivering healthy meals in local communities, according to its website.

By the end of 2022, the nonprofit organization will be working with up to 30 food donors to provide 140,000 healthy and nutritious meals distributed to over 180 families and 10 community partners, or 1,000 people.

Share my Meals serves communities in Princeton, Montgomery, Lawrenceville and Trenton with seven employees, 40 plus volunteers.

For more information visit sharemymeals.org.

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