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Governor Beshear signs Senate Bill 1

Kentucky Department of Agriculture officials joined Governor Steve Beshear in a ceremonial signing of a bill that will provide an incentive for farmers to donate to food banks. Pictured are, from left: Kurt Reiber, Freestore Foodbank; Don Fulford, Feeding America Kentucky's Heartland; Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes; Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks; Gov. Beshear; Cassia Herron, Community Farm Alliance; Rep. Tom McKee; Tina Garland, Fred Nesler, and Bill Wickliffe, Kentucky Department of Agriculture; and Heather Hyden, Community Farm Alliance. (Governor's Office photo)

 

New law creates tax credit for farmer donations to food banks

 

Special to Kentucky Agricultural News

Governor Beshear hosted a ceremonial signing of a bill in late April that will provide an incentive for farmers to donate to food banks. Beginning in 2014, Kentucky farmers donating fruits, vegetables, beef, poultry, pork, fish, or other edible agricultural products to a food bank will be eligible to receive a credit against their state tax liability equal to 10 percent of the value of the donated product.

Sponsored by Tom McKee (D- Cynthiana) and co-sponsored by 28 legislators from both parties, House Bill 141 passed unanimously in the House. The provisions of HB 141 were attached to SB 1, the military voting bill, which passed in the final minutes of the 2013 Kentucky legislature.

“Continuing to move our state forward requires strong partnerships to help ensure that our most vulnerable citizens don’t get left behind," said Gov. Beshear. "That is why I am pleased to sign this bipartisan legislation that will encourage farmers to make donations that help feed the hungry."

More than 750,000 people in Kentucky – or 17 percent of the population – are food insecure, meaning that they don’t always know where they will find their next meal, according to data from Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

“I was honored to sponsor and attend the bill signing of HB 141, a measure that will continue to help provide nourishing food for our food banks to distribute to Kentuckians in need,” said Rep. McKee. “I am pleased to have worked with the Kentucky Association of Food Banks and the Farms to Food Banks advisory committee to pass this important legislation.”

“As a member of the Board at God's Pantry Food Bank, eliminating hunger in Kentucky is a cause close to my heart,” said Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. “The generosity House Bill 141 enables and inspires will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians. It is a great example of efficient and effective government and the kind of partnerships and cooperation that will ensure Kentucky's brightest days are ahead.”

“The Kentucky Department of Agriculture was proud to work on this bill that will reward our hard-working farm families for their efforts to help feed their struggling neighbors,” said Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer.

“We are delighted with the enactment of this bill that will make more food available to hungry Kentuckians," said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks. “Our food banks are feeding more people than ever before, and this new law will not only increase our food supply but will also provide a benefit to the state's farmers, who are crucial allies in the fight against hunger.”

For more information about food resources, go to www.kafb.org.