Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LI Farmers Donate Food to the Hungry

Photo (Lexi Van de Walle): Depression Special Tomatos $11 for 7 pounds

Thanksgiving is the time of year when people open up their pantries and donate food to hunger relief NGOs so everyone has a hot turkey dinner on America's most celebrated holiday. Long Island's Island Harvest and Congressman Tim Bishop want to make sure farmers continue to get a deserved tax incentive for their generous donations of fresh, local and healthy fruits and vegetables, including Long Island Farmers who donate a half a million pounds of food a year to LI's hungry.

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BISHOP, ISLAND HARVEST HELP FARMERS DONATING FOOD TO LI's HUNGRY

11/02/09
RIVERHEAD, NY — Standing alongside members of Long Island’s farming community and anti-hunger advocates, Congressman Tim Bishop and Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest, today announced support for a Congressional bill which would provide permanent tax incentives for farmers who donate excess crops to hunger relief organizations.

Each year, Long Island farmers donate over 500,000 pounds of locally grown fruits and vegetables to Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization. However, present tax rules do not provide incentives for growers who donate excess produce. The proposed bill (H.R. 3227 and Senate version S. 1313) would allow farmers to receive tax deductions on the full market value for produce that cannot or will not be sold.

“During these difficult economic times, this tax incentive would be a win-win for our farmers and for those who are struggling to find food to eat,” said Congressman Bishop. “Rather than letting excess produce go to waste, farmers can support local charities such as Island Harvest serve those in need on Long Island.”

“Congressman Bishop and Long Island’s farmers have been exceptionally supportive in helping Island Harvest in our fight against hunger,” stated Ms. Shubin Dresner. We are grateful for their efforts; this important legislation will help provide more healthy fruits and vegetables to those Long Islanders’ who face hunger each day.”

The bill, cited as the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Extension Act of 2009, while providing financial assistance to local farmers will help increase the amount of locally grown produce Island Harvest receives to provide food for the estimated 300,000 men, women and children on Long Island who access shelters, food pantries and emergency food programs. Island Harvest supplies food to over 570 member agencies across Long Island.

“The Long Island Farm Bureau is solidly behind Congressman Bishop’s efforts in backing a bill that will offer tax benefits to the farmers for the products they donate to help those in need,” said Joseph M. Gergela, Executive Director of the Long Island Farm Bureau. “Long Island’s farming community and Island Harvest has become a vital partnership in addressing this critical issue of hunger on Long Island and we are happy to be part of that effort".

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