Stand Against Food Waste in Colorado
This petition made change with 16,861 supporters!
Forty percent of all the food produced annually in the United States will be wasted. Of that, a quarter is discarded by grocery stores when the food is not immediately sold. In 2008, that quarter amounted to forty-three billion pounds. When an apple’s skin has lost its luster and is no longer as shiny, instead of being thrown out, it could be shipped out to food banks.
Ours is a world where people starve, where many metric tons of perfectly good food in developed countries like the United States go straight to the trash. Yet, even with all this abundance, 1 in 8 Americans are facing food insecurity. That number even translates to Colorado where 1 in 8 Coloradans do not know when their next meal will be.
We must mandate that food retailers partner with food banks and homeless shelters in order to reduce the amount of edible food being wasted.
Instead of disposing of food approaching its sell-by dates or produce that has sat for a couple of days, it must be supplied to food banks or other charitable donation centers. To do this, a law must be introduced in the Colorado legislature.
There are already several relevant precedents which we can look upon for guidance.
The 1976 Tax Reform Act, among other things, “entitled” corporations to tax deductions, provided that they make a “contribution [...] of appreciated property” to a charity or other foundation.
This means that retailers have little to lose financially in donating undesired food, as the government would, perhaps upon filing a claim, grant those tax deductions to the retailers that use this measure to their benefit.
That Act has been out in the public sphere, without much mention or recognition, for forty years.
Meanwhile, France has already passed a law mandating that supermarkets donate unsold food (food still retaining good quality but which is approaching its best-before date). With this law in place, more meals will be dished out each year to the needy and the poor.
If we want to help stop food waste, we need to start the trend ourselves. Colorado is in a position to lead this change. Let us all petition our lawmakers to create a food reclamation act and put the issue on the map for other states looking to do the same thing.
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