Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205
05/09/2017 03:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES
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HB 186-FOOD DONATIONS 3:31:57 PM CHAIR WILSON announced the consideration of HB 186. 3:32:09 PM REPRESENTATIVE DAVID TALERICO, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, sponsor of HB 186, explained that HB 186 seeks to reduce the amount of wasted food in the state by increasing the amount of food donated to foodbanks and other charitable organizations. He detailed that nearly 15 percent of Alaskans fall into the category of food-insecure individuals. He said many businesses are currently donating excess food; however, many desire to do so but are not because of liability or perceived liability. He disclosed that many charitable organization do not receive sufficient food donations to feed the homeless and hungry. 3:32:41 PM SENATOR BEGICH joined the committee meeting. REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO specified that HB 186 allows hotels, restaurants, stores, and other food donors to donate all their excess food, unsold food, or outdated food; they can donate to foodbanks or charitable organizations. He noted that HB 186 would clarify "charitable organizations" in Alaska's statutes. He disclosed that he was once responsible for a solid-waste facility and detailed the challenges in dealing with excess food that led to inefficient use of space, animal attraction, and creating a bacteria issue. 3:36:39 PM JULIE MORRIS, Staff, Representative David Talerico, Juneau, Alaska, provided a sectional analysis for HB 186 as follows: Sec. 1 - AS 17.20.345 Amends AS 17.20.345 (a) by adding charitable organizations in statute next to foodbanks to be able to receive donated food from donors who may donate their food free from liability. Amends AS 17.20.345 (b)(l) by adding a sentence clarifying that the labels referenced in this statute do not include the new label referenced in section two of this bill; which requires heated-donated food to be labeled. Amends AS 17.20.345 (b) by adding a third bullet point allowing donors of food to donate food with an expired date on it. Amends AS .17.20.345 (c) by adding charitable organizations in statute along with foodbanks to be able to receive donated salmon from hatcheries. Sec. 2 - AS 17.20.345 Amends AS 17.20.345 is amended by adding a new section which allows donors of food to donate excess hot food to foodbanks and charities as long as they label it as previously heated food. Sec. 3 - AS 17.20.346 Amends AS 17.20.346 (a) by adding charitable organizations in statute next to foodbanks to be free from liability to donate received food to hungry individuals as long as they first inspect it and deem it fit for human consumption. Amends AS 17.20.346(b) by adding charitable organizations in statute next to foodbanks to be free to receive donated food with an expired date on it. Sec. 4 - AS 17.20.347 Amends AS? 17.20.347 (1) by adding delicatessen, restaurant, hotel and store under the definition of donor. Amends AS 17.20.347 (2) by deleting part of the definition of a foodbank so as to separately define a nonprofit organization in a new section. Sec. 5 - AS 17 .20.347 Amends AS 17.20.347 by adding three new definitions: 1. "Charitable Organization" means a nonprofit organization that provides food without charge to individuals who do not have money to pay for the food or who do not have homes; 2. "Food" includes unsold hot food; 3. "Nonprofit Organization" means an organization recognized by the state or federal government as a nonprofit organization. 3:40:14 PM SENATOR MICCICHE asked if there has been any opposition to HB 186 from the foodbanks or nonprofits. REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO replied that he is not aware of any opposition. He noted that only one negative comment has been received and it was not connected with any foodbank or nonprofit. SENATOR MICCICHE asked what the negative comment related to. REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO said the individual claimed that the intent was to make this incredibly dangerous for people to consume bad food. He explained that the bill makes no changes to the proper handling of food in Title 18 of the Alaska Administrative Code, which is known as the "Alaska Food Code." The bill does not change any of the monitoring currently done by the Department of Environmental Conservation. SENATOR VON IMHOF read the following verbiage from the bill: HB 186 will allow hotels, restaurants, stores, and other food donors. SENATOR VON IMHOF surmised that "other food donors" could potentially include private individuals. She asked if private individuals are currently donating food specifically related to events with significant excess food. She asked if private individuals are currently donating food. REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO replied that private donation does occur. He related a story about a food retailer that throws out hot food due to a liability concern and noted the application of the Good Samaritan Act. He said his hope is that HB 186 will ultimately remove the liability thought for not donating. 3:44:19 PM SENATOR VON IMHOF replied that she appreciated Representative Talerico's comments that proper food handling is observed for food donations. She noted that foodbanks will have to consider adding additional personnel due to added donations in addition to expanded storage and refuse capacity. She opined that a foodbank having to hire additional personnel is a good problem to handle the added food donations. 3:45:07 PM SENATOR WILSON opened public testimony on HB 186. 3:45:39 PM SAMANTHA KIRSTEIN, representing self, Fairbanks Foodbank, Fairbanks, Alaska, testified in support of HB 186. She concurred with Representative Talerico that the legislation will provide a little more comfort for the people who donate food such as the commercial grocers. She asserted that donations are important to foodbanks. 3:46:35 PM CHAIR WILSON closed public testimony on HB 186. 3:46:54 PM SENATOR VON IMHOF moved to report HB 186, [version 30-LS0654\J], from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). 3:47:04 PM CHAIR WILSON found no objection, and HB 186 moved from the Senate Health and Social Services Standing Committee.