“Each year, approximately 20 billion pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in the United States go unharvested or otherwise never enter the food supply. This produce is often perfectly good to eat but is never sold because of aesthetic imperfections or other market factors. For example, when crop prices fall, farmers may not be able to sell their product for enough to cover picking, packing, and transportation costs. Unfortunately, these same up-front costs often make it too expensive for farmers to donate the fresh fruits and vegetables they cannot sell.
To address these issues, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has launched a campaign to dramatically increase the recovery of food across the state of New York and redirect this fresh and wholesome food to the citizens who need it most. With this campaign—which is part of our larger regional and food equity work—NRDC has been able to not only help address a pressing public health and environmental need in New York, but also create
model policies that can be replicated in other areas of the
As a result of this farm to food bank advocacy work—and partnering closely with a wide range of stakeholders— the state of New York recently enacted a tax credit for donations of agricultural products to the food recovery system to address the costs of donation. This tax credit allows farmers to claim 25 percent of the fair market value of qualified donations, with a maximum benefit of $5,000 per year, thus incentivizing them to donate their unsold products to those in need.”
Read the NRDC Farm to Food Tax Credit Report here.