Solon bats for zero hunger, food rescue program

MANILA A lawmaker at the House of Representatives is pushing for a zero hunger, food rescue program by mobilizing restaurants and other food establishments to donate surplus food to chosen charities and non-profit organizations.

According to a statement on Monday, Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera filed House Bill 3342, or the Zero Hunger Act, to promote food security and prevent food wastage in the country.

"With our proposed Zero Hunger Act, we hope to mobilize the food establishments to combat hunger among the poor with the help of charitable institutions. In the process, we also reduce food waste in the business sector," Herrera said.

Herrera said the surplus food donations for food rescue programs "can be an effective way to eliminate hunger affecting millions especially among the urban poor and in the poorest barangays in the provinces."

Under the bill, the Food Rescue Program shall adhere to strict safety standards to protect beneficiaries and help establishments determine and lessen generation food waste and surplus food to make production more efficient.

The bill also mandates the creation of an inter-agency committee led by the National Nutrition Council.

The committee for the Food Rescue Program shall assess and evaluate production and surplus food generation of restaurants and their capabilities to donate or manage food waste and lessen surplus food; develop guidelines, health, and safety standards for surplus food that are fit for donations; criteria for accreditation of institutions and foundations that can receive food donations; and determine possible tax deductions applicable for food establishments.

Establishments shall submit an initial surplus audit to the committee to determine processes that generate surplus food.

They shall donate a portion or all of their surplus food either daily or weekly to beneficiaries accredited and approved by the committee.

In donations, the establishments shall report to the committee the contents and quality of donation to its chosen beneficiary.

"Through the donation of excess or surplus food of establishments, hungry Filipinos are able to have safe and quality food and establishments can increase productivity, save waste disposal costs, and uphold its environmental goals," Herrera said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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