By Ramona du Houx
A tax break that Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said will help reduce food waste passed the House on December 17, 2015 as part of a larger package of tax provisions. The provision, which is part of Pingree's Food Recovery Act, creates a permanent "enhanced" tax deduction for businesses and farmers who donate excess food to organizations like food pantries and soup kitchens.
"This tax break makes it easier and more worthwhile for businesses and farmers to donate excess food to a food pantry," said Pingree. "It will mean less food going to landfills and more food going to feed people struggling with hunger."
An estimated 40 percent of food produced every year in the United States is wasted, meanwhile nearly 50 million people struggle with hunger. If food waste is reduced by just 15 percent and good quality, wholesome food is redirected to people in need, the number of hungry Americans could be cut in half.
An enhanced tax deduction means the taxpayer gets credit for the full value of the food, plus an additional deduction to compensate for the expense and labor of donating the product. The provision also increases the maximum tax deduction from 10 percent to 15 percent of taxable income.
The provision in Pingree's Food Recovery Act, was originally introduced in a bill written by Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY). Pingree introduced her Food Recovery Act, a comprehensive package of legislative proposals aimed at reducing wasted food, earlier this month. Please read more HERE.