The Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers 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% tax credit for all agricultural product that they donate to the province’s community food banks.
As the legislation is written, this tax credit is applicable to anyone who is in the “business of farming.” This means that farmers of all kinds – including fruit, vegetables, dairy, pork, beef etc. – are eligible for this benefit, which can be claimed on their corporate tax return for 2014 and thereafter.
“Farmers have always been incredible donors to food banks and we are so happy to finally be able to help offset some of the costs they incur to harvest and transport these invaluable fresh food donations,” says Carolyn Stewart, Acting, Director at the Ontario Association of Food Banks.
“Many food bank clients do not receive the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables, which can cause additional strains on one’s health and well-being,” says Stewart. “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 375,000 Ontarians, 131,000 of which are children, relying on food banks each and every month in this province. It is only with the generous support of farmers and local community members that food banks are 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 food bank fridges and freezers, and provide thousands of Ontarians with fresh, healthy, and local foods.
If you are interested in donating to the Ontario Association of Food Banks to support a family in need this Holiday season, please visit www.oafb.ca. For every dollar donated, the OAFB can provide over $8 worth of food, or three meals, to adults and children in need.