New Kentucky law allows more businesses to donate food to pantries

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 07:13:14-04

NEWPORT, Ky. -- A new law takes effect in Kentucky Thursday that could help feed the hungry.

The law takes away a barrier that prevented some businesses from donating their leftovers. 

According to local food pantry organizers, some sources have been slow to donate because they don't want to be sued if someone becomes ill from donated food.

"There are several large grocery store chains who have been reluctant to pass things along," Becky Ewing, executive director of the United Ministries of Northern Kentucky said.

But the new "food immunity law" removes most of the liability for businesses that donate food.

"This bill will absolutely put their minds at easy," Mary Decker of the Brighton Center said.

The Brighton Center goes through about 800 pounds of food each day. Decker testified in favor of the new law.

"It's a daily need," she said. "It's a daily basis."

Summer is when many pantries start running low on food.

Kroger says it has been donating to food panties for about nine years. The need is growing; they donated 3 million pounds of food last year, a 30 percent jump from 2015.

"It's hard to see hungry families in our community," Kroger spokesperson Patty Leeseman said.