Leket Israel volunteers gather food..
(photo credit: COURTESY LEKET ISRAEL)
The Knesset passed the Food Donation Act on Monday. The Food Donation Act, similar to the United States Bill Emerson Act, absolves food donors from criminal and civil liability, if they adhere to the food safety requirements by the Ministry of Health.
"1.8 million Israelis suffer from food insecurity while 2.3 million tons of food at a value of NIS 19.5 billion (5+ billion USD) is thrown away annually," Leket CEO Gidi Kroch said. "The Food Donation Act opens the door to hundreds of organizations and businesses that have quality and substantial amounts of surplus food but do not currently donate out of fear from liability."
Leket Israel, an Israeli NGO that distributes surplus food to needy people, along with MK Uri Maklev with support from MK Eli Elalouf have campaigned for this law for the past ten years.
"In Israel, every third child suffers from hunger and every fourth person from poverty. We have to make an effort to find a solution," Maklev said. "There are solutions, restaurant owners, hotels and organizations should not be throwing away food since destroying food is like destroying the soul."
Israel is one of five countries in the world to have law that encourages the donations of excess food by protecting donors. Other countries that have similar legislation include the US, Canada, New Zealand and Italy.
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