Gleaners Get Into Tax Policy


The ‘America Gives More Act’ and How You Can Help...

In a (visibly imperfect, but still perfectly edible!) nutshell:

We here at The Gleaning Project recently found out that only ‘C corporations’ - almost always, only very large companies - can most easily take a tax deduction when donating excess food.  Small businesses and farmers – usually sole proprietorship's, partnerships, and LLC’s - get left out, or have to jump through significant legalese hoops to be properly incentivized just like the big guys.  Most of The Gleaning Project’s growers can’t, or don’t, take the tax deduction because of this.  They donate because it’s the right thing to do.

A giant thank you to all our Gleaning Project donors.  We – and all the folks we redistribute the extra fruit of your labor to – so appreciate your willingness to help impact our community. 

We want to help You too.

The ‘America Gives More Act’ seeks to create a permanent tax deduction that would allow all companies regardless of size and business structure – including our local, smaller, farmers, retailers, and restaurants – to take the enhanced tax deduction when donating excess nutritious food.  The bill – as written now – would allow these businesses to deduct food inventory donations up to 15% of their taxable income.

This would encourage more gleaning and food recovery.  It would incentivize growers and businesses to donate.  It’s one way we further reduce food loss on farms and food waste at stores and restaurants to help feed and nurture all those in need.

This bill has already passed the House of Representatives (whoo!), and is tabled at the Senate now.  I vote we help encourage this legislation along...

The easiest way to do that is to visit Feeding America’s page on this issue and fill out the form to submit a note to your Senator.  That costs you (maybe) 40 seconds and an email address.

Extra credit goes to those who personally contact our Senators.  It’s a great practice to get in the habit of.  Here in PA, it’s:

Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) -                 (202) 224-6324,

Pat Toomey (R-PA) -          (202) 224-4254,

Please tell them you support the ‘America Gives More Act.’  Just call ‘em up and say so to whatever staff person answers the phone.  (And put their #’s in your contact list for future use…)  Make sure they know that you'll call back.  They'll be so happy that you care, and care enough to speak up.

Tell them hunger and food waste are two issues we care about here in South Central PA; that these two problems can help solve each other; that there are significant opportunities in a region as agriculturally rich as ours to impact our community for the benefit of everyone.

Tell them gleaning and food recovery make so much sense.  That we lose 10-20% of the food grown on farms before it even gets to store shelves.  That we waste another 10-20% of the food on store shelves before it even gets home.  That here in South Central PA, we have 1 in 6 adults hungry, and 1 in 5 kids hungry, and food going to waste on small farms and orchards that could feed and nurture them instead.

One caveat. 

Gleaning and food recovery alone almost certainly can’t solve hunger (though The Gleaning Project is pushing this model to the fullest to see if we can figure out how…).  But.

It still makes a ton of sense (like 200,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables gleaned through The Gleaning Project in Franklin and Adams Counties last year alone) to make it easier and more affordable for growers to let us come take - and make good use of - their extras.

This is how democracy works.  Let’s make it happen.

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