For Immediate Release
February 21, 2017
Bill Increasing Food Security Passes in Oklahoma House of Representatives
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) applauded the Oklahoma House of Representatives today for passing legislation to address food insecurity issues in the state. House Bill 1875 passed Tuesday with no opposition on a vote of 95 to 0.
House Bill 1875 by state Reps. Eric Proctor and Jason Dunnington permits school districts to donate unused or unopened food to an on-campus nonprofit organization through an authorized representative or designee who is directly affiliated with the school as a teacher, counselor or PTA member. The food may be received, stored and redistributed at the school at any time, and school employees may assist in preparing and distributing the food as volunteers for the nonprofit organization.
“OICA is very appreciative of this legislation allowing non-profits to work with schools, reduce regulations on how food can be used to help students struggling with hunger, reduce waste of unused food, and in turn produce budget savings,” said OICA CEO Joe Dorman. “Oklahoma ranks dead last in the nation for summer feeding programs and this is an innovative solution to help address hunger around Oklahoma with a creative program that will not cost additional dollars.”
The legislation exempts from civil and criminal liability school districts and nonprofit organizations who receive a good-faith donation of food that is fit for human consumption at the time of the donation.
Proctor and Dunnington partnered with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in Tulsa to ensure as few students as possible go home hungry and without food. The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy has also been working with legislators and other advocacy partners to find creative solutions to improve Oklahoma’s food insecurity levels.
According to the Oklahoma Food Banks, one in four Oklahoma children live in Oklahoma households that struggle to put enough food on the table and more than 421,000 children in the state receive free and reduced price lunch.
“We appreciate legislators who think creatively to find solutions to benefit Oklahomans in need,” said Dorman. “No child should go hungry in Oklahoma and no food should go to waste.”
The legislation now moves to the state Senate, where is it authored by Senator AJ Griffin.