House Memorial 7 (HM7). The measure, introduced by Rep. David M. Gallegos of Eunice, gained unanimous approval.. A memorial does not carry the weight of law nor does it require any appropriations. Nevertheless, this is more than a symbolic expression from the State Legislature. The original proposal by Rep. Gallegos simply sought to make it easier for public school directors to donate excess school meals to feeding operations. The final version added a provision to create a working group that would look at food redistribution in our state. Here are some excerpts from the legislation:
A MEMORIAL REQUESTING PUBLIC SCHOOL FOOD DIRECTORS TO DONATE EXCESS SCHOOL MEALS; REQUESTING STATE AGENCIES AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS TO CONVENE A WORK GROUP TO ADDRESS FOOD REDISTRIBUTION TO HUNGRY AND HOMELESS PEOPLE IN NEW MEXICO.
WHEREAS, the Food Donors Liability Act protects food donors acting in good faith from any civil liability or criminal penalty regarding the condition of the donated food, and Public Law 110-247, the Federal Food Donation Act of 2008, encourages executive agencies and contractors of executive agencies to donate excess, apparently wholesome food to nonprofit organizations to feed food-insecure people in the United States; and
WHEREAS, an executive agency making donations pursuant to the Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 is exempt from civil and criminal liability to the extent provided under the federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act; and
WHEREAS, there are nonprofit organizations in New Mexico that engage in "food rescue programs" to salvage food from restaurants, repackage it and give it to nursing homes;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the public education department be requested to inform all school district and charter school food services directors that they are encouraged to donate excess school meals to public or nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry and the homeless...
Read the Full Memorial
(Coming Friday: Part 3 looks at how a restaurant owner started a food salvage operation, which eventually became The Food Depot food bank in Santa Fe).