Food Bank will be used to transfer waste to hunger combat programs

27/06/2003 - 22h48

Brasília, 6/30/2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - It is estimated that Brazil wastes R$10 billion in food that is thrown away each year. That is enough food to feed 8 million families. Part of the food thrown away consists of perishable items that are close to losing validity or canned goods with damaged labels. A newly established Food Bank is betting exactly on those items to reverse the situation of the hungry in Brazil. According to minister of Food Security and Hunger Combat, Jose Graziano, "Brazil is a country that wastes food because of inadequate legislation. In Canada, some 300,000 families get this type of assistance. Unfortunately, in Brazil that is an insignificant number. We need to assist many more people."

The plan is to set up 15 Food Banks in the country's major metropolitan regions by the end of the year (four are already functioning) and regulate their activities.

Besides standardizing their activities, donations will get a boost with legislation exempting donors from taxes (such as ICMS and IPI) and a Good Samaritan Statute. The lack of such legislation has inhibited businesses from making donations. "That is the biggest problem the program faces today," says Lastenia da Silva Fonesca, coordinator of Mesa Brasil Sesc DF. The idea is to give participating businesses fiscal credits equal to their donations. (AB)