Monday September 29th 2014, the Honorable Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, alongside the Honorable Ted McMeekin and MPP Bob Bailey announced the launch of the new Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers.
This tax credit is the first and only one of its kind in Canada, making this a historic week for farmers, food banks, and the provincial government. Farmers in Ontario are now eligible to claim a 25 per cent tax credit for all agricultural product that they donate to the province’s community food banks.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy local food, and we applaud the Ontario government for introducing a tax credit that will encourage more farmers to make that food available to families and individuals who need it most,” says Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director at the Ontario Association of Food Banks.
“Many food bank clients do not receive the recommended daily servings of fruit, vegetables, and protein, which can cause additional strains on one’s health and well-being,” says Laidlaw. “A balanced diet with local, fresh, and nutritious foods will help improve the health of food bank clients as well as the health of communities across Ontario.”
There are over 500 individuals, 227 of which are children, relying on food banks in Morrisburg and Winchester each and every month. It is only with the generous support from farmers and local community members that the Dundas County Food Bank is able to provide meals and provisions for those in need. It is without a doubt that the Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers will help stock local food bank fridges and freezers, and provide members of this community with fresh, healthy, and local foods that they otherwise would not receive.
Farmers in the area who want to learn more about the tax credit can email Ian McKelvie, Dundas County Food Bank Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ontario Association of Food Banks is a network of 125 food banks and over 1,100 hunger-relief agencies.
Together, we serve 375,789 individuals, including 131,734 children every month, through a number of food programs and services. This includes: breakfast clubs, school meal programs, community kitchens, emergency shelters, community food centres, seniors’ centres, and small neighbourhood food banks. For more information please visit www.oafb.ca