Local food bank urges residents to call for tax incentive legislation

Local food bank urges residents to call for tax incentive legislation

High Plains Food Bank is urging residents to call members of Congress to support a legislation increasing the tax incentive for food donors and farmers.

This legislation would increase tax incentives from 10% to 15 percent for food donors. Farmers would receive 25% of the fair market value of the donated.

High Plains Food Bank Executive Director Zack Wilson said this legislation would help increase the amount of perishable food they said they are seeing a higher demand for in the community.

"That's an incentive for someone to give then that means more food. We're handling more perishable food these days that we ever had before. We can get those in and out in higher demand. We just never received enough of that for the 29 counties we serve," Wilson said.

Kathy Marlett recently became the director of the Pinnacle Food Bank in January.

She said they fed more than 100 families last month, and she said it's becoming difficult to keep healthy foods available for the amount of mouths they want to feed.

"We're pretty much crippled by the fact we don't get very much help. I pray for more protein, I pray for more healthy food so people can do more and move on with their lives," Marlett said.

The High Plains Food Bank feeds around 90 times the amount of families. Wilson said this would prevent about 70 billion pounds of perishable food from being sent to a landfill, and instead be sent to food banks that need the extra items.

"The vast majority of this produce we see goes to waste" Wilson said.

He says this legislation would help not only the donors, but to the people the food will be given to in the future.

"This is very critical. It's a win-win, and important for those who eat the food," Wilson said.

Wilson said residents can call by dialing (888)398-8702, and then entering a zip code. To connect to you representative, say you are a constituent with the High Plains Food Bank. Let them know you are calling about HR 4719 legislation.

Marlett said she hopes to see this legislation pass so she can increase the amount of food she can give out to help.

"It would help fill these shelves, all these empty shelves with I donâ??t know what, but to supplement what they have. That helps,â?? Marlett said.

The House of Representatives will look into this legislation in the upcoming week.