Bill Summary for H 938 (2021)

Summary date: 

May 12 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 938 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 11, 2021
AN ACT TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS REGARDING FOOD WASTE IN NORTH CAROLINA BY DESIGNATING THE THIRD THURSDAY IN SEPTEMBER AS FOOD WASTE PREVENTION DAY, BY URGING FOOD RETAILERS IN THIS STATE TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE, BY ESTABLISHING A PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN FOR FOOD WASTE, BY CREATING THE STATE FOOD WASTE TASK FORCE, AND BY APPROPRIATING FUNDS TO MAKE THE SAFE PLATES PREPARED FOOD WASTE REDUCTION PROGRAM ACCESSIBLE STATEWIDE.
Intro. by Hawkins, Ager, Brown.

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Bill summary

Contains whereas clauses. Amends Chapter 103 of the General Statutes by adding GS 103-17 making the third Thursday in September of each year Food Waste Prevention Day.
Contains findings. Urges large food retailers to do the following:
(1) Update inventory systems with new technology, reduce excess inventory, and reduce the amount of perishables that go to waste;
(2) Partner with farmers or intermediaries in the supply chain to reduce agricultural food waste;
(3) Modify store practices that lead to waste and institute practices that reduce waste such as lowering cosmetic standards for produce, building nationwide systems to donate food, urging food manufacturers to use a food expiration date labeling system, and finding new ways to display food while decreasing stock levels; and
(4) Team up with consumers to reduce food waste by providing waste reduction tips and leftover recipes, demonstrating how to use leftovers in recipes, and using social media and crowd sourcing for waste less campaigns.
Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Department) to, in consultation with Rise Against Hunger North Carolina, do the following:
(1) Establish a public awareness campaign to educate the public about food waste prevention by raising awareness of strategies to reduce wasteful shopping, freezing meat prior to expiration, and using sell by and use by labels;
(2) Take measures to reduce food waste through donating or composting; and
(3) Develop and distribute materials on food waste, including social media, print media, and television/radio.
Appropriates $50,000 in non-recurring funds from the General Fund to the Department for the 2021-22 fiscal year to support the food waste awareness campaign. This appropriation is effective July 1, 2021.
Establishes the North Carolina Food Waste Task Force (Task Force) within the Department of Health and Human Services to examine the factors that lead to food waste in the state and identify strategies, policies, legislation, and executive action that (i) prevent food waste, (ii) increase food donation, (iii) provide education on food storage, (iv) lower cosmetic standards for produce, (v) cease or significantly reduce rejection of marginally imperfect looking food, (vi) build and strengthen state and local systems to distribute donated food, (vii) eliminate unnecessary statutes and regulations that contribute to food waste, and (viii) modify best by labels consistent with uniform national standards. Requires that the work of the Task Force be consistent with and supplement existing national efforts to reduce food waste.
Provides the Task Force is comprised of 14 members, including
(1) the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Commissioner of Agriculture, and Secretary of Environmental Quality or their designees as ex officio members;
(2) Four appointed members from four different food retailers, two appointed by the Governor, one by the Speaker of the House, and one by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate;
(3) Three public members appointed by the Governor, each one recommended by one of three particular food waste related organizations; and
(4) Four private citizens with relevant expertise, two appointed by the Governor, one appointed by the Speaker of the House, and one appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
Provides vacancies are filled as provided for original appointments. Directs the Task Force to meet as soon as practical and select a chair. Directs the chair to select a secretary who need not be a member. Provides that Task Force members may receive appropriate subsistence and travel allowances. Directs the Legislative Services Officer to, with prior approval of the Legislative Services Commission, assign professional and clerical staff to the Task Force. Provides meetings may be held in the Legislative Building, Legislative Office Building, or around the state. Provides the Task Force may exercise certain powers, including the power to request that officers and agencies provide information, data, or documents in their possession or available to them. Provides the Task Force may meet during regular or extra sessions of the General Assembly.
Directs the Task Force to report its findings and recommendations for further legislative or executive actions to the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly no later than May 1, 2022. Provides that the Task Force terminates upon filing its final report.
Appropriates $50,000 in nonrecurring funds to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina for the 2021-22 fiscal year to be allocated to North Carolina State University’s Safe Plates Program to develop standard operating procedures and recommend best practices with tracking documents and resources for unserved prepared food that will be used at trainings on how to safely recover and redistribute prepared food during the pandemic for local health departments and community prepared food recovery programs across the state. This appropriation is effective July 1, 2021.

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