Perth-Wellington MPP plugs tax break for farmers who donate to food banks

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Beacon Herald Staff

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece is supportive of a plan to give farmers who donate food to local food banks a tax credit.

“This idea would help bring fresh, local food to people who are struggling,” said Pettapiece.

“I’ve met with many of our local food banks across Perth-Wellington, and I know they are compassionate and dedicated,” he added. “We should all support them.”

On Wednesday, the PC caucus proposed an amendment to the Local Food Act that would give farmers a non-refundable tax credit worth 25% of the wholesale value of excess food products to food banks.

“Perth-Wellington is the heart of agriculture in Ontario,” said Pettapiece. “Many local farmers are already donating food, but this tax credit would allow many more to help out.”

A statement from Pettapiece’s office said more than 25 million pounds of nutritious food is disposed of or plowed back into fields every year.

Some of that food can’t be sold to grocers simply because it’s not the right size, shape or colour, the statement said. Farmers are willing to donate food but many can’t afford the additional costs of collecting, processing and delivering unsold produce.

“We need a bill that will make a difference by addressing farmers’ concerns and, at the same time, improving distribution. The tax credit proposal would make a big difference, and I strongly urge the other parties to support it,” Pettapiece said.

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