/ SECTION 3. Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 44-84-10. There is created within the Department of Health and Environmental Control the Commission on Hunger to develop, implement, and oversee a comprehensive strategy to reduce food insecurity and alleviate hunger in this State.
Section 44-84-20. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Food insecurity' means a household-level economic and social condition of uncertainty of being able to acquire, in socially acceptable ways, enough food, at any given time, to meet basic dietary needs because of insufficient funds or other resources for food.
(2) 'Food recovery' means collecting wholesome food for distribution to the food insecure and hungry, including, field gleaning, perishable food rescue or salvage, collecting perishable produce from wholesale and retail sources, collecting prepared foods from the food service industry, and nonperishable food collection.
(3) 'Hunger' means a physiological condition that is a potential consequence of food insecurity, which, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation.
Section 44-84-30. (A) The Commission on Hunger must be comprised of the following officials or their designees, who shall serve ex officio:
(1) Commissioner of the Department of Health and Environmental Control;
(2) Director of the Department of Social Services;
(3) Superintendent of Education;
(4) Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture;
(5) Director of the Department of Health and Human Services;
(6) Director of the Department of Employment and Workforce;
(7) Director of the Division on Aging, Office of the Lieutenant Governor;
(8) Chair of the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children;
(9) President of the South Carolina Food Bank Association;
(10) President of the South Carolina Dietetic Association;
(11) Director of the School Nutrition Council of South Carolina;
(12) Director of the South Carolina Association of Counties;
(13) Director of the Municipal Association of South Carolina;
(14) President of the South Carolina Hospitality Association;
(15) Executive Minister of the Christian Action Council;
(16) President of the South Carolina State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People;
(17) President of the Hispanic Leadership Council;
(18) Director of the United Way Association of South Carolina;
(19) Director of the South Carolina Retail Association.
(B) The commission shall elect from among its members a chairman and a vice chairman who shall serve terms of two years. The commission shall meet quarterly and otherwise at the call of the chair. A majority of the commission members constitutes a quorum for the purpose of conducting the business of the commission. The commission shall serve without per diem, mileage or subsistence.
Section 44-84-40. The Department of Health and Environmental Control shall provide from existing staff assistance to the commission in implementing the provisions of this chapter. No additional staff shall be hired and expenses shall be from the existing budget of the department.
Section 44-84-50. In carrying out its duties and responsibilities pursuant to this chapter, the commission has the authority to:
(1) establish ad hoc committees outside of the commission membership to assist the commission in fulfilling its duties;
(2) hold public hearings;
(3) review program and budget data of state agencies that engage in activities and provide services that involve the reduction of food insecurity and the alleviation of hunger and of other public and private entities that voluntarily agree to participate in these reviews.
Section 44-84-60. The commission shall:
(1) conduct research and analyze data, using existing data if possible, and undertake other studies and actions to determine:
(a) the dimension and demographics of food insecurity and hunger in this State;
(b) the cultural, community, and practical barriers to achieving food security;
(c) the availability and accessibility of emergency food sources and assistance among demographic groups and by geographic areas of the State, including gaps in availability and accessibility;
(d) other barriers to individuals receiving food from emergency food sources and programs;
(e) the effectiveness and efficiency of existing emergency food sources and programs;
(f) the participation rates of eligible persons in all federal food programs, including, but not limited to, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Women, Infants, and Children Program, and school breakfast, lunch, and summer meal programs, and whether all federal programs and options have been adopted and maximized by the State;
(g) barriers to eligible individuals participating in federal food programs;
(h) the extent to which food recovery is used in this State to feed the food insecure and hungry and barriers to and opportunities for utilizing this resource;
(2) review the work of other public and private entities used to reduce food insecurity and alleviate hunger, including programs, approaches, and concepts addressing food source and program availability and access, program participation, and other matters as may be useful to the commission;
(3) evaluate existing and develop new opportunities for public-private partnerships to address the needs of the food insecure and hungry, including, but not limited to, utilization of food recovery and promotion, by expansion, of existing public-private endeavors and programs;
(4) identify strategies to overcome barriers to and develop solutions for improving delivery of and participation in food assistance programs;
(5) coordinate the effective and efficient provision of services and programs to the food insecure and hungry so that food sources and assistance will be readily available to the greatest number over the widest geographic area, including minimizing the duplication of services and programs and providing comprehensive public awareness and education campaigns throughout the State.
Section 44-84-70. All state agencies and political subdivisions of the State shall cooperate with the commission in providing information and assistance at the request of the commission.
Section 44-84-80. The commission annually shall submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly that includes the status of food insecurity and hunger in the State, progress being made to achieve food security and alleviate hunger, and proposals and recommendations for strengthening programs and services to further reduce food insecurity and alleviate hunger."
SECTION 4. SECTIONS 1 and 2 of this act take effect upon approval by the Governor and apply to any investigative action undertaken as provided herein where the underlying event giving rise to the investigation occurs on or after the effective date. SECTION 3 of this act takes effect July 1, 2012. /
Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.