Bill encouraging food-rescue charity clears hurdle

Legislation meant to encourage restaurants to donate leftover food passed a preliminary Knesset vote Wednesday.

Food recipes (photo credit: SARIT GOFFEN)
Food recipes
(photo credit: SARIT GOFFEN)
Several similar bills, which were brought to a vote, stated that if someone donates food in good faith to a legal charity that distributes food, that person will not be responsible for damages caused by the food donations.
Food banks and food rescue organizations will be responsible for insuring its workers in order to cover possible damages caused by the food or in the act of distribution.
In addition, the Health and Welfare Ministers will be responsible for setting rules as to how such organizations must store, move and distribute donated food to ensure safety and quality.
The bills were proposed by MKs Uri Maklev (UTJ), Moshe Gafni (UTJ), Hilik Bar (Zionist Union), Orly Levy-Abecasis (Yisrael Beytenu) and Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi).
"About 25 percent of food prepared in restaurants, event halls, factories' cafeterias, army basis, chain restaurants and hotels is thrown away," the bills' explanatory portion reads. "The main reason that these institutions do not want to donate food instead of throwing it in the garbage is that they are worried about lawsuits...This is a heavy burden that leads the owners of these institutions to prefer not to take a risk in donated extra food."
Maklev said the bill will cause a "revolution" and bring food to thousands of needy people each day.
"These aren't leftovers, this is food that never left the kitchen and is still on trays, hundreds of kilograms of fresh, nutritious meat," he said.
According to Maklev, "destroying food...will, in the end, destroy our souls."