© 2023 WGLT
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

As food insecurity rises, new legislation would make it easier to donate food

Nate Head

Food insecurity is a chronic problem in the U.S. But so is food waste, like throwing away food from grocery stores or restaurants that could be used to address hunger.

Normal-based Midwest Food Bank on Tuesday participated in an event to support legislation that would make it easier and safer for business to donate unused food. The Food Donation Improvement Act was recently introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate with broad bipartisan support.

Jada Hoerr, chief resource officer for Midwest Food Bank, traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in the discussion. She said rising inflation is one of largest contributing factors to food insecurity.

“People are making the very real decision between paying for fuel or transportation to get to work versus having access to nutritious food,” Hoerr said.

She said 35% of food goes wasted in the United States. Part of the problem, she explained, is confusion about how to safely and effectively donate unused food. The Food Donation Improvement Act would strengthen existing protections around food donation that shield businesses from liability. The act also would offer more clarity as to what food is safe to donate.

Hoerr is optimistic the bill, which has rare bipartisan support, can help bring relief to the 12% of the population struggling with food insecurity, describing the Food Donation Improvement Act as “common sense.”

“So the sooner that we can move forward on this legislation, the sooner we can address many of the other challenges that are facing poverty and food insecurity,” she said.

We depend on your support to keep telling stories like this one. You – together with donors across the NPR Network – create a more informed public. Fact by fact, story by story. Please take a moment to donate now and fund the local news our community needs. Your support truly makes a difference.

Sarah Nardi is a WGLT reporter. She previously worked for the Chicago Reader covering Arts & Culture.
Related Content