New law could increase donations of meats, dairy, and other products

Current state law allows a 15% tax credit for fresh fruits and vegetables donated by qualified taxpayers to food banks. Assembly Bill 614 (Eggman) would expand this Farm to Food Bank Tax Credit beyond fresh produce, to make eligible the following products: fruits, nuts, and vegetables in canned, frozen, dried, dehydrated, and 100% juice forms; cheese; milk; yogurt; butter; dehydrated milk; infant formula; vegetable oil; olive oil; soup; pasta sauce; salsa; bread; pasta; canned meats; and canned seafood.

The original law allowed the tax credit to be claimed by those who were responsible for planting the crop, managing it, and harvesting it from the land. This bill expands the list to those responsible for responsible for growing or raising a qualified donation item, or harvesting, packing, or processing it, provided that person is not a retailer.

California is the nation’s leader in agricultural products – yet the state throws out 6 million tons of food waste each year while 1 in 4 children suffer from food insecurity daily. Tax credits provide an incentive to donate unused agricultural product instead if disposing of it (which is often less expensive than donating it).

For a very modest cost, AB 614 truly delivers a triple win: fighting hunger, preventing food waste, and supporting farmers. AB 614 is a small but vital investment to maintain health by enabling hunger relief organizations to provide healthy food with no questions asked.

AB 614 has made it through both houses of the California legislature and is currently sitting on Governor Newsom’s desk awaiting his signature of veto. He has until October 13th to make a decision and hearing from Californians about the importance of this bill can assist in ensuring he signs it.

You can contact the governor by phone or online.

Call: (916) 445-2841

Script: “Hi, I’m [name} and I’m calling to urge Governor Newsom to sign AB 614. Farmers and food producers face real costs to donate. It is often cheaper to landfill product to donate it. The existing policy is effective in driving agricultural donations to food banks, but is limited to fresh produce. AB 614 will help ensure that low-income Californians have access to complete nutrition while supporting farmers and reducing food waste.”

Or, go to: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/

  1. Enter your name and email address.
  2. Select “Legislative issues/Concerns” from the drop-down menu
  3. On the new screen, select “Pro.”
  4. Type in your message (sample below).

Please sign AB 614! Farmers and food producers face real costs to donate. It is often cheaper to landfill product to donate it. The existing policy is effective in driving agricultural donations to food banks, but is limited to fresh produce. AB 614 will help ensure that low-income Californians have access to complete nutrition while supporting farmers and reducing food waste.

Once you have contacted the governor, don’t forget to encourage friends, family and co-workers to do the same by sharing on social media. Tag us at #FeedingSanDiego.