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February 10, 2016

New Law Requires French Supermarkets to Donate Surplus Food to Charity

A new law in France will require supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities and food banks, The Guardian reports, and large grocery stores will be banned from disposing of surplus food before it's "best-before" date.

French shoppers, anti-poverty and anti-food-waste advocates led a grass-roots campaign to push for the bill's passage. They hope to persuade other European Union member states to adopt similar legislation. According to the leader of a network of French food banks, even a 15 percent increase in donations from supermarkets would provide 10 million meals a year.

Supermarkets will also be prohibited from deliberately spoiling excess food, which some stores have done to discourage people from dumpster diving.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month, the Rockefeller Foundation announced it was committing $130 million to cutting waste all along the global food-production chain.