NJ Senate Committee Advances Bills To Reduce Food Waste

Mar 13, 2017

Credit United States Department of Agriculture

A package of bills advanced by a New Jersey Senate committee aims to reduce food waste and help ease hunger.

The legislation calls for an income tax break for businesses that give food to charitable organizations and liability protection for schools that donate edible items.

Paul Jensen with the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen says that would help food pantries.

"We do over 300,000 meals a year just here in Trenton. There's a lot of people just in this immediate area that need food and throughout the state it's even more. So these things would help us tremendously to make sure we keep receiving them."

Senate Environment Committee chairman Bob Smith says an estimated 40 percent of food in the U-S is wasted. He believes it would be far better to give it to the hungry instead of sending it to landfills.

"When you put it in a landfill the methane that's produced leaks. No matter how good the landfill collection system is, something like 50 percent of it is lost to the atmosphere, and methane is a huge climate changing gas."

The legislation would also set a state goal of reducing the amount of food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030.