Although we’ve placed this fact in stories before, it remains a shock every time we type it: in America, an estimated 40 percent of all food ends up in the waste bin on an annual basis, according to the National Resources Defense Council. In New York City, this statistic is particularly alarming given that there are close to 2.5 million people in the city who struggle to find food.

That’s why the city has passed a new law called the Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Act that demands all surplus food items to be donated to local food shelters. Additionally, any food scraps will be sent to recycling centers in order to prevent a large portion of food from entering the waste stream. Food waste breaks down easily in the landfill, but the process results in methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas.

The law will require facilities that create food waste to mark any excess for donation. Once things are in full swing, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation believes that it will save around 250,000 tons of food on a yearly basis.