HELMING: Local farmers will be eligible for new $5,000 tax credit

New York State Senator Pam Helming recently announced that local farmers are eligible to receive up to a $5,000 tax credit for food donations made to food banks that serve needy families and seniors in our region.

Eligible donations include fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat produced in New York State. Working with the New York Farm Bureau, Senator Helming fought for this measure to be included in last year’s final State Budget.

“Our farm families throughout the Wayne-Finger Lakes region and across New York State not only put food on our tables, but also support many local food pantries and charities. This important program will support the fight against hunger and put fresh, local food in the hands of those who need it most. No child should go to bed hungry in a country that is the world’s top producer of food and I am committed to continuing to work with local food banks to battle hunger and malnutrition in our community,” she said.

“Local farm families represent the best of our communities and I am proud to support them in their efforts to donate food. As State Senator, I will continue to advocate for legislation and programs that will allow our local farms to keep growing and thriving. New York Farm Bureau has been a terrific partner, and I look forward to working with President David Fisher,” added Helming.

New York’s farmers have donated more than nine million pounds of food in 2017 according to the New York Farm Bureau. These donations have helped provide more than seven million meals to those in need.

To qualify for the credit, eligible food donations must be made to food banks, food pantries, or other emergency food programs operating in New York State that qualify for tax exempt status.

The tax credit is a refundable credit equal to 25% of the fair market value of qualified donations. Farmers are limited to maximum credit of $5,000 per year.

“New York Farm Bureau is excited to see the rollout of the Farm to Food Bank Tax Credit. This has been a priority issue for our organization’s members who routinely donate to their regional food banks and local pantries. The credit will help offset the costs of picking, packing and transporting the food to the donation centers, while also increasing access of fresh, local food to New Yorkers in need. We appreciate Senator Helming’s advocacy on the issue in the last legislative session as well as her continued strong support of family farms in her district,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.

Senator Helming serves as Chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. As State Senator, she has successfully advocated for vital investments that support family farming across the state.

These efforts include increased funding for agricultural education to build the next generation of farmers, fully restored funding to provide business consulting services and mental health services through New York FarmNet, and support for agricultural research and development through the New York Farm Viability Institute, Cornell University, and other organizations.

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