April 14, 2008

Food Banks, Hungry Benefit From Bill Co-Sponsored By Crapo

Washington, DC - People receiving assistance from food banks will benefit under federal legislation, co-sponsored by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, aimed at increasing donations of federal food. The Federal Food Donation Act (S. 2420), which was introduced by Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) and co-sponsored by Senators Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), has been reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. The bill is now cleared for consideration by the full Senate.

The legislation would insert a clause into all federal government food contracts above $25,000 that encourages the donation of excess wholesome foods and would remove obstacles for delivery of surplus food. The U.S. House of Representatives has already supported similar legislation, H.R. 4220, which passed the House in December 2007 by voice vote.

"Improvements can always be made to ensure that excess food is not wasted and makes it to the food banks and other agencies that help the hungry and those on fixed incomes," Crapo said. "This legislation can be particularly helpful to those pressured by the higher costs of energy prices and other living expenses. Hopefully we can build the consensus needed to move this legislation quickly through the Congress and to the President. No one wants to see food go to waste when we know that we have hungry families throughout our country. This provides yet another avenue for the federal government to make efficient use of its resources, while alleviating one of the true tragedies in our society."

"The commitment by America to reduce and end hunger is looking at taking another step forward through S. 2420," said Roger Simon, President and CEO of the Idaho Food Bank. "Certified members of America's Second Harvest, the National Network of Food Banks, commits its entire focus to the securing, safe handling and distribution of wholesome food to help feed food insecure and hungry Americans."

"Passage of S. 2420, which has been co-sponsored by Senator Crapo, would provide recognition by the Federal government that partnerships with food banks certified through America's Second Harvest such as The Idaho Foodbank brings high standards in food safety and handling and a comprehensive distribution network to get food to those who need it when they need it and where they live. This is a significant move forward toward a day when no one in Idaho or anywhere else in our country will have to live without the most basic of human needs - nourishment," Simon added.