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Efforts to make donating food easier

Shadow Health Minister Kim Wilson is urging Government MPs to get behind an Opposition bill designed to make it easier for stores and restaurants to donate food.

Ms Wilson tabled the Good Samaritan (Food Donation) Act 2015 last month, which aims to provide food establishments with extra legal protection against the risk of civil liability.

However, the proposed legislation has yet to be debated in the House of Assembly, despite it having the full backing of charities like the Eliza Doolittle Society.

“In light of the current economic crisis many people are finding it increasingly difficult to feed themselves and their families,” Ms Wilson said.

“On the other hand, many restaurants and other food service establishments find it frustrating to have to dispose of food which is still safe for consumption because they are unable to give away unused food items for fear of risk of civil liability.

“This concern of grocery stores and other establishments could be removed by introducing the Good Samaritan (Food Donation) Act 2015, which will provide legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance via food donations to those in need.”

The PLP MP for Sandys South Central believes the existing legislation does not provide adequate protection to outlets that want to provide food to charities.

The bill states: “A donor does not incur any civil liability in respect of any death or personal injury that results from the consumption of donated food where the food was donated in good faith for a charitable or benevolent purpose and with the intention that the recipient of the food would not have to pay for the food; and safe to consume at the time it left the possession or control of the food donor.”

It also provides: “Where the food is of a nature that it must be consumed within a particular period of time after leaving the possession or control of the donor, the donor shall not incur any civil liability if he informs the person to whom the food is donated of the time within which the food is to be consumed to ensure its safety.”

Sarah Mardon, board director for the Eliza DoLittle Society, told The Royal Gazette that huge amounts of much needed food was going to waste in Bermuda.

She added: “This new bill is an excellent idea.

“There is a whole load of food getting thrown away at the moment. All those supermarkets that have deli counters and buffets, all that food does not come to us at the moment it just gets thrown away.

“That is a lot of food being wasted at a time when we have a lot of hungry people in Bermuda.

“Having some kind of Act in place that would protect people just trying to help would make such a difference right now.”

Shadow Health Minister Kim Wilson

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Published March 20, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated March 20, 2015 at 2:07 am)

Efforts to make donating food easier

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