A bill package sponsored by Senator Bob Smith, Senator Troy Singleton, Senator Richard Codey, Senator James Beach, Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, Senator Vin Gopal, Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, Senator Joseph Cryan, and Senator Linda Greenstein, which would promote awareness of food waste and hunger, advanced from the Senate.
“People need to be made aware of just how much food we waste every single year,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “The United States throws away about 30-40 percent of all food, which ends up accounting for over 20 percent of all waste in our landfills. We could donate extra food to food pantries or homeless shelters and compost the food which expires. There is no conceivable reason we should ever be wasting food.”
“A little over 10 percent of New Jerseyans, or roughly 900,000, are food insecure. Sadly, nearly one-third are children,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “They go to sleep feeling hungry only to wake-up wondering when they will eat their next meal. Yet, in homes across our state, people don’t think twice about tossing uneaten foods into the trash, filling the landfill instead of stomachs. It is high time to change our ways and create better awareness to reduce, and hopefully, eliminate food waste.”
“Hunger is an unfortunate reality experienced by many in our state,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “A concerted effort is needed to appropriately address food waste and increase food donations. We must do better and this task force will detail how we can do better for those who are hungry in New Jersey.”
“New Jersey has countless resources for individuals and families who are struggling with food insecurity, but it can be challenging to find the right program in your area,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “Having a full list of all programs available will allow more people to take advantage of the services available and get the help they need.”
“Providing oversight to ensure a routinely updated catalogue of emergency food service areas is available online is an incredibly valuable asset in the fight against hunger for New Jersey,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This will increase awareness of the services available so those suffering from food insecurities do not have to go without.”
“Throwing food away while people go hungry should be an unacceptable action and yet we do it every day. Hopefully, with this package of bills, we can help reduce the gap between excess food in our communities and the people who need it,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth).