New law will require grocery stores to donate surplus to food banks

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MANTECA, Calif. (KTXL) — Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Keenon Krick said they have seen their distributions rise to 200% in the last four months and donations from large supermarket chains are what helps feed families.

“We are very fortunate with being able to get frozen and produce,” Krick said.

But as more and more shoppers opt for food that lasts longer, Krick said some of their resources have been dwindling. 

“However, on the shelf-stable items, we are lacking heavily right now,” Krick told FOX40.

This is where a new law may help. 

“Food should be going to people, not landfills, and a lot of this law is common sense,” CalRecycle spokesman Lance Klug said.

Klug said the climate pollutants reduction law requires supermarkets, grocery stores and food service providers to donate all their surplus to food banks instead of tossing them out.

He said about 11.7 billion pounds of food ends up in California landfills each year. Klug added by reducing waste, we prevent dangerous gases such as methane from forming.

“Pollution that contributes to climate change and also to the respiratory problems, the chronic health diseases, the asthma that we see so much of here in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valley,” Klug told FOX40.

Klug said the law will go into effect in 2022 but now is the time for city and county leaders to act. 

“But especially given the current need, the fact that hunger has doubled in some California counties, tripled in some California counties, cities and counties can start planning now.”

Krick said this may help his organization help the growing number of people in need

“This would be greatly needed because we know this isn’t going to be a recovery that’s gonna all of a sudden happen tomorrow,” Krick said.

If you’d like to help the food bank now, they are always in need of volunteers and shelf-stable food donations.

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