OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) – House Bill 1875, aimed at alleviating childhood hunger, passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives with a vote of 95 to 0.
"One in four Oklahoma children struggle with food insecurity," said Reps. Eric Proctor, the author of the bill. "House Bill 1875 is a compassionate measure that will help to achieve the goal of no child going to bed hungry in our state. Hunger is not a Democratic or Republican issue, and I was happy to see the vote pass unanimously."
House Bill 1875 permits schools to donate unused or unopened food to an on-campus nonprofit organization. The food may be received, stored and redistributed at the school at any time.
"The Oklahoma Food Banks are pleased to see HB 1875 moving forward through the legislative process with bipartisan support," said Effie Craven with the Regional Food Bank. "With one in four Oklahoma children living in households that struggle to put enough food on the table, and more than 421,000 children in the state receiving free and reduced-price lunch, new approaches to limiting food waste in schools can help ensure that no child goes without enough to eat."
"House Bill 1875 will allow schools to be stronger community partners by enabling them to use leftover food to feed hungry children, help stock a school pantry, or supplement the food in backpack programs," said Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City. "At my children's school, many students leave food on their trays for various reasons after breakfast or lunch. This bill is a common sense way to lessen food waste and hunger."
The legislation now moves to the state Senate.