New York Farmers Seek Tax Credit for Donated Food

Associated Press writer David Klepper reported on Saturday that, “Each year New York farmers give millions of pounds of apples, squash, corn or other agricultural products to the state’s food banks. Now they’re looking to get some credit for those good deeds — a tax credit.

“Legislation awaiting action by Gov. Andrew Cuomo would offer farmers a tax break of up to $5,000 a year for donations to the regional food banks that serve hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters around the state.”

The AP article noted that, “The federal government already offers a tax credit to farmers who donate goods to food banks. Several states have created their own tax credits, including California, Oregon and Colorado.

“Food banks welcome the donations, which give struggling New Yorkers access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Last year farmers donated 12 million pounds of food in New York, and advocates for emergency food programs say there’s an appetite for more.”

Mr. Kleeper added that, “[Gov.] Cuomo hasn’t weighed in on the bill so far this year, though his administration has taken other steps to give poor New Yorkers access to the state’s agricultural products. The state has expanded programs allowing SNAP benefits to be used at farmers markets and has funded projects to locate farmers markets in low-income neighborhoods. The state is also working to use more New York farm products in school lunch programs.”

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