The National Grocers Association (NGA) and Feeding America both are commending the House of Representatives for passage of House Resolution 4719, the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2014. The resolution includes legislation that would renew and expand tax incentives for donated food.
“We applaud the House for passage of HR 4719,” said Greg Ferrara, VP of public affairs for NGA. “Making charitable tax deductions for food donations permanent provides predictability for independent grocers of all sizes and allows our members to give back to their community in a beneficial way. While NGA fully supports legislative efforts to enact fair and balanced comprehensive tax reform, many tax extender provisions important to our industry have currently expired. We were pleased to see this bill pass with bipartisan support and commend House leadership and Chairman (Dave) Camp for bringing this bill to the floor. NGA looks forward to working with the Senate to pass other pro-growth tax extenders, which provide independent grocers with the necessary stability to run their businesses and create jobs.”
Feeding America also praised the passage of the resolution.
Feeding America says it distributes more than 3.6 billion pounds of food through its network of food banks each year, and this legislation would help increase food donations, particularly from farmers and growers, at a time when the need for emergency food assistance remains high in communities across the nation.
Over the last few years, Feeding America and its network members have launched a campaign to distribute more fresh produce through its food banks, with more than 900 million pounds of fresh produce distributed to clients in 2013 alone. Yet, without the passage of this bill, many farmers and growers donating fruits and vegetables are not eligible for an enhanced tax deduction like other donors due to their status as a small business and tax accounting practices.
“As we are dealing with sustained high need across our network, we are appreciative that the House has acted to pass this legislation, which has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “With over 70 billion pounds of food wasted each year, including 6 billion pounds of produce, this legislation will help increase donations and help food banks provide an additional 1.5 billion meals over 10 years to hungry people. We look forward to working with Congress and our partners to see this important bill enacted.”
HR 4719 passed by a bipartisan vote of 277-130.