House Passes Legislation Aimed at Helping Fundraising Efforts of Non-profit Organizations

ATLANTA— The Georgia House of Representatives today passed House Bill 101 with a unanimous vote of 162 – 0. Introduced by state Representative Bubber Epps (R-Dry Branch), HB 101 would allow non-profits to sell food for short-term periods without needing a food service permit.

“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 Rep. Epps. “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.”

Under current Georgia law, all “food service establishments” must have a food service permit to operate. The legal definition of “food service establishment” includes restaurants, coffee shops, cafeterias, short order cafes, taverns, and other similar public and private institutions. While this current law exempts food sold at a fair or festival, it does not exempt similar short-term events.

HB 101 would exempt any event sponsored by a nonprofit organization or a government entity that lasts for 120 hours or less from the current statutory definition of “food service establishment.” This exemption would mean that nonprofit organizations no longer need to obtain a food service permit from the state before selling food at events lasting five days or less. Nonprofit organizations would, however, still have to comply with all local government permitting requirements.

For more information about HB 101, please click here.

Representative Bubber Epps represents the citizens of District 144, which includes portions of Bibb, Bleckley, Houston, Jones, Laurens, Twiggs, and Wilkinson counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2008, and currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations and Motor Vehicle committees. He also serves on the Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, Insurance, Motor Vehicles, Natural Resources & Environment, and Transportation committees.