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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 24, 2018 10:02 AM
From: Representative Pam Snyder
To: All House members
Subject: Shared Tables- Fighting school hunger and diminishing waste (Package Legislation)
 
In the near future I will be introducing a legislative package to ensure that no student will spend the day hungry, as well as reduce the amount of food waste in schools.

Hunger is a reality for many students. Today, 1 in 6 children, or more than 13 million, live in food insecure homes. In Pennsylvania alone, 1 in 7 experience severe hunger. Food insecurity impacts people of all ages in many households in rural, urban and suburban areas of our Commonwealth. Research states that 3 out of 4 teachers say that some of their students regularly come to school hungry.

In addition to addressing hunger, we are now faced with food waste. In 2012, federal guidelines required healthier school lunches. In a study conducted after the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act went into effect, researchers found many students were taking the required healthier options and throwing them automatically into the trash. Food waste increased by 56 percent that year.

As policy makers, we must look at whether these guidelines parallel increased healthier consumption. My resolution will urge the Federal Government to revisit the 2012 guidelines to allow the students the flexibility to choose their beverage and healthy foods they consume.

Additionally, my legislation will allow schools to participate in the “Shared Table” initiative. This will help educators provide food to kids who need it the most. It would grant schools the opportunity to redistribute unused food, by allowing students to put unwanted food in a specified location. It involves having a place that kids can discretely get food throughout the day at school, or take food home at the end of the day. The initiative also encourages donating any remaining food items to a charitable organization at the close of the school day. Schools would be required to be in compliance with state and local food safety regulations. The program does not require school cafeterias to produce extra food.

Schools nationwide have already begun food sharing programs. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have set a national goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. The shared table initiative has the support of both agencies. They recognize this program can encourage our students to eat healthy and at the same time reduce waste.

The goal of this legislation is taking a step to address hunger among our students, and at the same time, diminish the tons of food that go to waste each day in our schools. As legislators, we need to acknowledge the fact that hunger is a significant problem throughout Pennsylvania and our country. No child should have to go without enough food to eat.




Document #1

Introduced as HR963

Description: Resolution discription:

In addition to addressing hunger, we are now faced with food waste.  In 2012, federal guidelines required healthier school lunches.   In a study conducted after the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act went into effect, researchers found many students were taking the required healthier options and throwing them automatically into the trash.  Food waste increased by 56 percent that year.
 
As policy makers, we must look at whether these guidelines parallel increased healthier consumption.  My resolution will urge the Federal Government to revisit the 2012 guidelines to allow the students the flexibility to choose their beverage and healthy foods they consume. 
 
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB2471

Description: Initiative description:

Additionally, my second piece of legislation will allow schools to participate in the “Shared Table” initiative.  This will help educators provide food to kids who need it the most.  It would grant schools the opportunity to redistribute unused food, by allowing students to put unwanted food in a specified location.  It involves having a place that kids can discretely get food throughout the day at school, or take food home at the end of the day.  The initiative also encourages donating any remaining food items to a charitable organization at the close of the school day.  Schools would be required to be in compliance with state and local food safety regulations.  The program does not require school cafeterias to produce extra food.
                                              
Schools nationwide have already begun food sharing programs.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have set a national goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. The shared table initiative has the support of both agencies.  They recognize this program can encourage our students to eat healthy and at the same time reduce waste.
 
The goal of this legislation is taking a step to address hunger among our students, and at the same time, diminish the tons of food that go to waste each day in our schools. As legislators, we need to acknowledge the fact that hunger is a significant problem throughout Pennsylvania and our country.  No child should have to go without enough food to eat.