Matt Knott, president of Feeding America, has issued a statement in support of legislation to strengthen tax incentives for food donations.
"Feeding America strongly encourages the Senate to include the America Gives More Act in the tax extenders package. Both food waste and food insecurity are serious problems in America. Each year, more than 70 billion pounds of nutritious food is wasted, according to data from USDA. At the same time, more than 46 million struggling Americans turn to Feeding America food banks for help feeding their families.
"The Senate has the opportunity to address both of these challenges by passing the America Gives More Act. This legislation would ensure that businesses of all sizes and types could benefit from a tax incentive to donate excess food to food banks and other qualified nonprofits. It also expands the incentive to cover farmers and ranchers, who cannot currently take the deduction. While C corporations have a permanent incentive, the incentive for smaller businesses expired in December 2014. The uncertainty as to whether and when Congress will act makes it difficult for businesses operating on tight margins to donate.
"Last week, the Senate Finance Committee began the process of renewing many expired tax provisions, including the enhanced deduction for food donations from small businesses. Yet merely extending current law isn't enough. Small businesses need certainty and reliability and it shouldn't cost farmers more to donate than to dump or not harvest their crops.
"The House of Representatives passed the America Gives More Act by a strong bipartisan majority earlier this year. Feeding America urges the Senate to quickly do the same. It is smart policy that helps food banks, farmers, businesses, the environment and most importantly hungry families."
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. Visit www.feedingamerica.org.