Action Alert: Help Extend the Good Samaritan Act

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As stated in a recent article in The Washington Post, corporate giving to the Capital Area Food Bank is down by 20 % from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2011. This is of great concern since businesses in past years have played a pivotal role in closing the meal gap in the DC area. Whether it is donating food, money or volunteering, businesses of all sizes have helped the Capital Area Food Bank put food on the tables of families in need. That is why we must support the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Extension Act of 2011, legislation currently under consideration in the Senate.

While the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Act provides some tax relief, it isn’t enough. Current tax incentives aren’t working for food donations because:

  • Increases in business efficiencies mean less food to donate.
  • With tight margins many chose to sell food to the secondary retail market instead of donating all excess product.
  • Current tax incentives are less than market rate for excess food inventory.

Today, we have an opportunity to pass legislation that would increase tax incentives for food donated to nonprofits. But, we need help from our community. Please call your senator today in support of the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentives Extension Act.

When you reach your senator’s office, ask to speak to the legislative assistant working on hunger issues and tell the staffer:

I support the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Act S.166 because it will:

  1. increase the ability of small and mid-size businesses (farmers, retailers, restaurants, and food manufacturers) to donate food to non-profits
  2. allow farmers and other “cash method” accounting taxpayers to consider 50% of the fair market value of the donated food as the cost to produce the food
  3. ASK the legislative assistant to encourage the senator to support this legislation by co-sponsoring this bill. Sen. Richard Luger (R-IN) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are sponsors.

Please identify yourself and your organization when speaking with the legislative assistant. It is okay to leave a message, and okay (highly recommended) to tell a story that shows the need for more food at your organization.

Maryland Agencies
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D)
Phone: 202-224-4654 (Capitol Hill Office)
301-345-5517 (District Office)
Website | Contact

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D)
Phone: 202-224-4524 (Capitol Hill Office)
301-860-0414 (District Office)
Website | Contact

Virginia Agencies
Sen. Jim Webb (D)
Phone: 202-224-4024 (Capitol Hill Office)
703-807-0581 (District Office)
Website | Contact

Sen. Mark Webb (D)
Phone: 202-224-2023
703-442-0671 (Vienna)
Website | Contact

Local Super Committee Member*
Chris Van Hollen (D-8th)
Capitol Hill Office 202-225-5341
District Office: Rockville: 301-424-3501
Hyattsville: 301-891-6982
Website | Contact

Thank you for your help! If you have questions please call Brian D. Banks, Director of Public Policy & Community Outreach for the Capital Area Food Bank at 202-526-5344 or send an e-mail to BanksB@CapitalAreaFoodBank.org. If you have time please tweet this message and email us advocacy@CapitalAreaFoodBank.org to let us know you made contact with your Senator.

Thank you!

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