WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Senate Hunger Caucus Co-Chair, is a sponsor of the bipartisan Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act of 2015 (S.930), legislation he also introduced in 2013. The bill, which was reintroduced last week in the 114th Congress, would make permanent a proven and effective tax incentive to encourage businesses and farms to donate surplus food to local food banks, homeless shelters and other hunger-relief organizations.
“Permanently extending the hunger relief tax incentive is a commonsense solution to increase food bank contributions – In rural and urban areas alike – and make use of the millions of pounds of food that go to waste each year,” Sen. Moran said. “This legislation is especially critical during these difficult economic times when food banks have an increased need to provide emergency food assistance.”
“Charity cannot meet the needs of the hungry alone,” said Valerie Nicholson-Watson, President and CEO of Harvesters – The Community Food Network, the food bank serving northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. “We need the continued partnership of nonprofit, business and government to help the hundreds of thousands of Kansans at risk of hunger. The hunger relief tax incentive has a proven track record as a targeted and effective way to encourage donations of excess nutritious food to those in need. We are grateful for Senator Moran’s leadership to permanently extend this vital tax incentive.”
In the years since the 2008 financial collapse and the economic recession that followed, demand on food banks across the country has risen dramatically. According to a 2012 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 49 million Americans are living in food insecure households and one-third of these individuals are children. Despite this, more than 30 percent of the food that is produced, grown and transported in the United States will never be used as some businesses find it too costly to donate the excess food. The billions of pounds of wasted food is valued at $162 billion annually.
The Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act would address this by permanently extending the same tax incentives to donate food now available to corporations to all businesses, including small businesses, farmers, ranchers and restaurant owners. The Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act would allow all businesses to receive tax deductions worth the full, fair-market value of the donated food products. Extending the tax deduction to farmers is intended to increase the amount of fresh foods offered to food banks.
The bipartisan bill has been supported by many organizations including Feeding America, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Food Marketing Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association and the National Restaurant Association.
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