11-Year-Old Creates Law to Help the Hungry

Image Credit: Kurman Communications

Because of a state law, Florida restaurants were wasting thousands of pounds of food that could otherwise be donated to hungry and homeless people. But that's about to change -- thanks to the work of 11-year-old Jack Davis.

Restaurant kitchens are full of delicious dishes – huge vats of spaghetti in meat sauce, lasagnas, pizzas, loaves of bread, and so much more. Sure, the owners sell what they can to people like you and me, who’ll happily pay ten bucks for a plate of pasta – but in many U.S. states, including Florida, when the kitchen closes, everything that hasn’t been sold just gets tossed out with the trash.

11-year-old Jack Davis wasn’t a fan of the policy, which is due to a law stating that restaurants can be sued if the food makes anyone sick, no matter whether it is sold in the restaurant or simply given away.

“I thought it pretty disturbing to see pounds, pretty much, of food being thrown away every single day,” he told ABC News. So he decided to do something about it.

The young activist knew that if he could get rid of that pesky law, restaurants would be free to donate their leftover food to homeless shelters and other needy people. He asked his father to help him get the word out to Florida legislators, but Jack’s mother, Yasmin Davis, was doubtful that anything would come of it.

“I tried to protect him a little bit and said, ‘You know, chances are nothing is going to happen. These people get a lot a mail—a lot of e-mails—and you are just an 11 year old,” she told ABC.

But to everyone’s surprise, State Senator Nan Rich fell in love with the idea – and was extremely impressed by its source.

“I was very excited to hear an 11-year-old would be doing something like this,” he said. “It’s exciting that he, at such a young age, will make such a big difference in the lives of a lot of people.”

Now, Jack’s bright idea is on the fast track to becoming a state law, which means that restaurants will be free to hand out their leftovers with no fear of lawsuits. Thanks to his work, thousands of hungry people around Florida will have access to delicious food that would otherwise be wasted.

And for someone so young, he’s got some great words of wisdom for the rest of us.

“If you think there’s a problem in the world,” Jack said, “you don’t wait for other people to fix it. You have to try to fix it yourself.”

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