Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to fight hunger by providing a tax credit to farmers that donate produce to food banks was advanced by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho to help fight hunger was advanced by a Senate committee. (Wikimedia Commons)
“A lot of people count on these food banks to feed their families, and they do a great job giving help to people in need,” Senator Oroho said. “But they often rely on canned food, which is good, but it can’t match the nutrition or health benefits of fresh produce.”
The bill, S-512, provides corporation business tax and gross income tax credits for the value of fruits and vegetable donations made by New Jersey’s Commercial Farmers over a five-year period. The amount of the credit would be equal to 10-percent of the whole sale value of the produce at the time of the donation.
The credit is intended to provide an incentive to farmers to donate surplus crops to local food banks. According to Feeding America, more than 1 million New Jersey residents were food insecure in 2014, about 11-percent of the state’s population.
“We’re heading into the time of year when food banks are in the most need of food,” Senator Oroho said. “Donations taper off after the holidays, but people still need to eat. We want to encourage farmers to donate extra crops to people in need, rather than just let ugly, unmarketable produce go to waste.”
The bill is being strongly advocated by the New Jersey Farm Bureau.
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