12 Sep 2013

Charities hope bill will free up food donors

9:13 am on 12 September 2013

Charities and food banks are hoping a bill that will allow supermarkets and restaurants to donate perishable food will be passed into law as soon as possible.

In June this year the Food Safety Minister announced that a 'Good Samaritan' clause will be introduced to the Food Bill, allowing restaurants and supermarkets to donate perishable foods without the liability they currently face.

Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye says the amendment, which is currently before the Select Committee, will reduce the liability of donors and better protect businesses that "give good food in good faith".

City Mission's Diane Robertson says the amendment cannot come soon enough.

She says health and safety rules have stopped donors giving food, to the detriment of charities and food banks.

"I think as we have increasing health and safety rules, a lot of donors are getting anxious about donating pre-prepared food.

"And so this bill would actually enable charities to receive the food and pass it on."

Ms Kaye hopes the legislation will be passed by early next year.