Shelly Wood wondered why federal agency cafeterias don't give discarded food to the homeless people she treats as a physician's assistant at a Salt Lake clinic for the indigent.
So at her suggestion, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, added wording to a bill passed Wednesday by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee to find out why."It requests the secretary of health and human services to report to the Congress on the policies, regulations or laws that hinder federal agencies - such as cafeterias at military bases or Veterans Affairs hospitals - from giving away otherwise edible leftover food," Hatch said.
It was included with other proposed changes to the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Act, designed to extend funding for health, mental health, job training and education for the homeless.
The legislation was passed unanimously by the committee - on which Hatch is the ranking Republican - and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
The committee also passed Wednesday another bill pushed by Hatch - the Excellence in Math, Science and Engineering Education Act of 1990 sponsored chiefly by Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
Hatch told the committee it will improve science education and provide training for future scientists to help continue scientific initiatives in Utah.
"Doctors at the University of Utah developed the artificial heart. Scientists in Utah are doing unprecedented research on genetic diseases that is possible because of the capability of the researchers and the genealogical records available to them through the Mormon Church.
"Research is continuing on cold fusion. All of these studies are making, and will make, a major contribution to the body of knowledge available to mankind. I am very proud of the research being done in Utah," he said.