Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Georgia Bill To Allow Nonprofit Food Distribution

The Georgia House of Representatives unanimously passed a law today that would allow nonprofits to sell food for short-term fundraising events without a permit. The bill will now move onto the state Senate for consideration.

ABC affiliate WTXL reported that the measure, House Bill 101, was first introduced by Rep. Bubber Epps (R-Dry Branch) and sponsored by Reps. Tom McCall (R-Elberton), Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), Susan Holmes (R-Monticello), Buddy Harden (R-Cordele), and Robert Dickey III (R-Musella). If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, it would remove a key obstacle for nonprofits looking to hold fundraisers in Georgia.

“Churches and other nonprofit organizations throughout the state are trying to hold bake sales and other similar fundraisers, but are getting caught in a state permit requirement that is meant for restaurants,” said Epps in a statement. “This legislation will make it easier for non-profit organizations to hold weekend fundraisers without having to deal with the hassle of obtaining a food service permit.”

Current Georgia law requires institutions classified as "food service establishments" to have a food service permit. The definition of such establishment encompasses restaurants, coffee shops, and other private and public institutions. While fairs and festivals are exempt from the law, similar short-term events are not, which have made it difficult for nonprofits conducting weekend fundraisers.

House Bill 101 would amend that law so that any event sponsored by a nonprofit or government entity would be exempt from that requirement, so long as the event lasts 120 hours or less.

You can read the full story on WTXL's website.

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