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New tax credit encourages Virginia farmers to donate to food banks

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia food banks could see an influx of locally grown crops now that a new 30 percent tax credit is available to Virginia farmers who donate excess crops. When Virginia farmers donate their extra grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables to non-profit food banks – it helps provide those in need with a healthy meal option.

“Increasing healthy food access for all Virginians helps strengthen our communities and our economy,” Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Sandy Adams said. “Local growers are often faced with more product than they can sell and food banks need more fresh options. We encourage Virginia farmers to take advantage of this tax credit.”

“Sourcing food locally can help the agricultural industry,” Leslie Van Horn, executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, added. “It reduces food waste and helps give incentives to growers and producers to donate their bounty, but most importantly, it gives food insecure individuals across the Commonwealth access to food they need to thrive and prosper.”

The Virginia General Assembly approved the tax credit during the 2016 Session. It allows farmers who donate edible food crops to a nonprofit food bank to receive up to a 30-percent tax credit for their donations.

“If a farmer does not owe enough Virginia income tax to use the full amount of the credit in one taxable year, the farmer can carry over the credits to the next five succeeding taxable years or until the total amount of the tax credit has been used, whichever is sooner,” a Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokesperson said. “The Food Crop Donation Tax Credit cannot exceed $250,000 annually for all qualifying taxpayers.”

Farmers who wish to participate for the 2017 tax year should click here for more information.