COFFI NY - Sign Away Excess Food Waste
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Food insecurity is a staggering issue in many of our communities throughout New York State. The USDA defines food insecurity as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” According to Feeding America, there are over 2.6 million New Yorkers who are food insecure. This afflicts 1 in 5 children throughout New York State and 13.5% of all New Yorkers.
We, the Coalition on Fighting Food Insecurity (COFFI NY), are dedicated to alleviating this problem by increasing the supply of food to emergency food programs throughout the state. At COFFI NY, we aim to promote equitable, sustainable, and practical solutions to the crisis of hunger by connecting those in need with wasted excess food.
One of our primary goals is to promote legislation which expands access to excess food to prevent waste, feeds the hungry, and makes our food system more sustainable. To further this goal, this petition aims to garner support and awareness for two pending pieces of NY State legislation that specifically tackle the food insecurity issues New York faces.
The first piece of legislation, the New York State Excess Food Act (Assembly Bill A6750), addresses food insecurity by increasing the supply of food to needy emergency food programs. It requires supermarkets to make available excess “consumable food products; provides mandatory composting of appropriate materials; [and] establishes the New York State Excess Food Fund which will be funded by fines collected from violations of the New York State Excess Food Act.” The Excess Food Act is a cost-neutral first step toward making New York a more sustainable and less hungry state.
The second piece of legislation, the State Food Waste Prevention and Diversion Act (Senate Bill S3418), also seeks to address issues of food insecurity, but does so through directly regulating food service facilities operated by state agencies or their contractors or lessees. It requires that such facilities “prevent and divert food waste by participating in food donation and other organics recovery programs,” such as “providing food and food scraps as animal feed, and processing remaining organics into soil amendment or other useful products through composting, anaerobic digestion, and other value-adding methods.”
Since more than 1 million people in NY depend on emergency food programs, it is crucial for these programs to have a steady, adequate supply of food. We believe that these two bills can significantly help achieve such a food supply and alleviate the widespread food insecurity issues throughout New York State while removing hundreds of thousands of tons of food waste from our landfills.
Will you join us in the effort to pass these bills and help COFFI NY fight food insecurity throughout our state? By signing this petition, you are showing your support for legislation to make New York a more sustainable and equitable state.
(COFFI NY was established in March 2017 by a group of dedicated students from Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in White Plains, NY.)
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