Kentucky Law Shields Supermarkets to Increase Food Donations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A new Kentucky law will shield entities donating food to nonprofits from liability with the goal of increasing food donations.

The Courier-Journal reports the food immunity bill going into effect June 29 protects markets, farmers and other groups from lawsuits and criminal charges if someone gets sick after eating their donations, providing there was no intentional misconduct. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says lawsuits haven’t been prevalent, but fear of legal action was sending food to trash bins instead of food banks.

A federal Good Samaritan law already provided legal protections for food donors, but Kentucky Association of Food Banks Executive Director Tamara Sandberg says the new law gives retailers more confidence and may lead to more perishable donations.

The bill passed unanimously in both chambers of the state legislature.