Commissioner Quarles Hails Measure that Requires State Agencies to Conduct Food Waste Assessments
Agencies Urged to Divert Leftover Food from Dumpsters to Charitable Feeding Groups
FRANKFORT (March 19, 2018) — Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles praised the passage of a joint resolution that requires state governmental agencies to conduct self-assessments to examine practices that contribute to food waste and identify ways to increase food donations to hunger relief organizations in Kentucky.
“When we started the Kentucky Hunger Initiative in 2016, I wanted to start identifying policy solutions for the one in six Kentuckians who are food insecure. When I learned that 40 percent of all food goes into the trashcan, I knew we had to do something about it,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “I am proud to have worked with Senator Rick Girdler and the General Assembly to help pass this resolution, which is one of the priorities of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Initiative.”
Senate Joint Resolution 218 requires that state agencies submit a written report of agency findings to the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture by the end of October. The resolution also directs the Finance and Administration Cabinet to develop food waste reduction guidelines to be used by all state agencies in food purchasing contracts with vendors.
“I was proud to have led the effort in the General Assembly to pass this joint resolution,” State Senator Rick Girdler said. “State agencies can – and should – lead by example to reduce food waste and help feed the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who are food insecure.”
Senate Joint Resolution 218 passed the Kentucky State Senate and the Kentucky House of Representatives unanimously. It is the second piece of legislation resulting from the Kentucky Hunger Initiative to be passed unanimously by the General Assembly. Commissioner Quarles launched the Kentucky Hunger Initiative in 2016 to bring together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders, and government entities to look for ways to reduce hunger in Kentucky. The Kentucky Food Donor Immunity Law, enacted in 2017, established the strongest legal protections in the nation for businesses and individuals that make food donations.
Map the Meal Gap 2017, an annual study by Feeding America, revealed that one in every six Kentuckians – including one in five children – was food insecure in 2015, meaning that consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.