Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, is calling for the Senate to act swiftly to pass the America Gives More Act when Congress returns to DC today.
“Passage of this legislation will make it easier for farmers, retailers, restaurants and food manufacturers to donate millions of pounds of food to food banks across our country,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America.
“We know that 70 million pounds of food that is safe for consumption ends up in landfills every year, and we also know that our network of food banks is now providing food to 46 million people each annually – so this is food that is much-needed by those we serve.
“Because of the uncertainty surrounding the food donation tax deduction, potential donors will often send surplus food to landfills or to be used as animal feed, instead of donating to their local food bank. We are grateful for the food we now receive from our donors and the federal government, but we are not currently able to keep up with the need.”
This legislation will increase the amount of food currently being donated, while reducing existing barriers to donations. Current tax incentives do not reflect changing food industry dynamics, because increases in business efficiencies mean that there is less food available to donate. Improving the food donation deduction is a common sense policy that helps food banks, farmers and the environment,” Aiken said.
This legislation was passed by the House in July 2014 as part of the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719) by a bipartisan vote.
“Without these improvements to the food donation tax deduction, millions of pounds of food from large and small businesses and farmers will be lost. Enactment of this legislation could result Feeding America being able to distribute an additional 100 million meals annually, which is so important in this time of great need. Aiken said.
The America Gives Act/Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act would help increase the amount of food donated to nonprofits by:
1. Making the extension to non c corporations permanent & allowing non c corporations to carry forward the deduction for 5 years (same as c corporations).
• This will greatly increase the ability of small and mid-size businesses, including farmers, retailers, restaurants and food manufacturers), to donate food, including fresh produce
2. Allowing farmers and other “cash method” accounting taxpayers to consider 25% of the fair market value of the donated food as the cost to produce the food;
3. Increasing the 10% cap of allowable charitable contributions to 15% for donated food;
4. Codifying an important Tax Court ruling, Lucky Stores, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.