Jan. 11, 2008— -- Adults usually initiate the laws, but there's no law that says kids can't too.
Jack Davis is only 11, but he had a pretty grown-up idea: He was disturbed to learn that Florida restaurants throw out food that could be given to the hungry and the homeless -- because the restaurant owners could be sued if anyone who ate the food became ill or developed food poisoning.
"I thought it pretty disturbing to see pounds, pretty much, of food being thrown away every single day," the 11-year-old said.
Jack had visited a homeless shelter on school field trips and he worried about people going hungry.
"I realized that I could make a difference by trying to change the law," Davis said.
Jack's idea was to pass a law that would give restaurant owners' some protection from lawsuits. He got his dad to float the idea to some Florida legislators.
"And I give the kid all the credit for it because he started it." said Jack's father, Jeff Davis.
Jack's mother, Yasmin Davis, said, "I tried to protect him a little bit and said, 'You know, chances are nothing is going to happen. These people get a lot a mail -- a lot of e-mails -- and you are just an 11 year old."
But the legislators loved it.
"I was very excited to hear an 11-year-old would be doing something like this," State Sen. Nan Rich said. "It's exciting that he, at such a young age, will make such a big difference in the lives of a lot of people."
It now seems certain that Jack's idea will become a law.
"If you take away the reason restaurants will not give food -- they will," he said. "And it's kind of it's a win-win situation -- 'cause the restaurants get to do something good."
Restaurant owners think so, too.
"I think it's a fabulous idea," said Kim Koch, owner of a restaurant called Christabelle's Quarter. "We do waste a lot of food, and as you know, we can't resell it. And it just goes to waste."
When Jack's bill started gaining momentum, he was suddenly big news in Miami.
"When I go to school, people were chanting my name because they saw me on the cover of the Miami Herald," Jack said. "Over the whole day, they were asking me what does the law say. And in some of my classes they clapped as I walked in.
"If you think there's a problem in the world," he said, "you don't wait for other people to fix it. You have to try to fix it yourself."