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Sixth-grader inspires legislation.

In his fifth-grade social studies class, Jack Davis participated in a practice exercise to draft mock legislation. The lesson stayed with him.

When he was eating breakfast at a buffet in Chattanooga, Tennessee, over the summer, Jack became dismayed when he learned that any food left over had to be thrown out, because of the potential of the restaurant being sued if anyone became ill eating tainted leftovers.

"I thought it pretty disturbing to see pounds, pretty much, of food being thrown away every single day," Jack told ABC News.

Jack, who is now an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Florida, asked his father, Jeff Davis, who is an attorney, for help in putting together a bill to grant legal immunity to restaurants donating food to the poor and homeless. A friend of Jack's dad, Stephen Marino, who is also an attorney, presented Jack's idea during lunch with Florida state Representative Ari Porth. "I've never been contacted by someone so young about an idea for a bill," Porth told the Miami Herald. "I think it's highly unusual and very impressive."

A discussion Porth had with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association confirmed Jack's information about why restaurants were not donating leftover food: "Sure enough, it wasn't because restaurants didn't want to--it was because of the liability issue."

On January 8, the Florida Restaurant Lending a Helping Hand Act was presented to the state legislature, and the Senate Business Regulation Committee approved the bill unanimously. State Senator Nan Rich, who presented the bill, said that the fact that the idea came from a young boy was "the best part of the bill."

Jack's actions were the result of an apparently positive attitude he has developed at such a young age. He explained: "If you think there's a problem in the world, you don't wait for other people to fix it. You have to try to fix it yourself."
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Title Annotation:THE GOODNESS OF AMERICA; Jack Davis
Author:Mass, Warren
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Mar 3, 2008
Words:320
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