Federal Food Donation Act Enacted Into Public Law **

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Act created by anti-poverty think tank Rock and Wrap It Up! will encourage federal buildings to donate excess food to feed the hungry; Act will feed millions of hungry people in the U.S. eadline

This will feed millions more who hunger and reduce our land fill. It could not come at a more urgent time because of the down-turn of our economy

Rock and Wrap It Up!, the national, independent anti-poverty think tank based in New York, announced today that the Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 has become Public Law 1109-247. Rock and Wrap It Up! is non-profit and nonpartisan, an organization devoted to developing and implementing innovative greening solutions to the pressing issues of hunger and poverty in America. President George W. Bush signed the Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 into law on June 19, 2008. Rock and Wrap it Up! created the Act to help further feed the 37 million American who are food insecure.

The Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 encourages federal buildings to arrange to have their excess food feed the hungry in the cities where the buildings are located.

"This will feed millions more who hunger and reduce our land fill. It could not come at a more urgent time because of the down-turn of our economy," says Rock and Wrap It Up! CEO and Founder Syd Mandelbaum. "We are humbled and thrilled that the Senate, House and President George W. Bush felt the commitment to help feed those who hunger in this country." Today, Ms. Deborah Purdie, Director of the Office of Real Property Asset Management, Building Operations and Maintenance Division, Government Services Administration has reached out to the 32 GSA regional offices to begin the notification of federal building administrators. The additional food is made available to over 43,000 agencies who fight hunger in our country.

In 2006, Rock and Wrap It Up! began to see an increase in the numbers of people using pantries and soup kitchens nationwide. Through research in New York and Washington, D.C., federal buildings were found to have an inconsistent policy regarding food that was prepared but not served in federal buildings. Rock and Wrap It Up! issued a position paper to address this problem. Dan Glickman, former Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, was consulted and Joel Berg, Executive Director of the NY Coalition Against Hunger and Homelessness (formerly part of the USDA), helped write the preliminary Act. When completed, Rock and Wrap It Up! Board member and US Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8CD) agreed to sponsor the Act on November 15, 2007. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Henry Waxman (CA -9CD) , received the Act and recommended it for passage by the House Of Representatives. Waxman's Chief of Staff Phil Schilaro was instrumental in acceptance. It passed unanimously on Dec 17, 2007, making it the fastest Bill to be approved by the House in its 210+ year history. Rock and Wrap It Up! approached Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) to introduce the Bill into the Senate. While a Congressman from Queens, NY in 1987, Schumer volunteered in a Rock and Wrap It Up!-affiliated soup kitchen, The Claddagh INN in Rockaway Beach, NY. He agreed to be the Bill's standard bearer and sponsored the Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 to the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. It passed in Committee and was recommended to the Senate by Chairs Joe Lieberman (CT) and Susan Collins (ME). It was unanimously passed on May 22, 2008.

Since 1996, Rock and Wrap It Up!, has worked with the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in contractually obligating election-night food in 1996, 1998 and 2000 through one of its national programs, Everyone Wins on Election Night!. In addition, food remaining from President Bush's first and second inaugural galas was recovered by Rock and Wrap It Up!

Rock and Wrap It Up! was founded in 1991 and has fed over 60,000,000 people. There are over 5,000 volunteers serving 500 cities.

For more information, please contact Diane Mandelbaum, 516-295-5686     http://www.rockandwrapitup.org


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