Iowa Hunger Coalition membership has set six policy priorities for the 2020 legislative session:
FARMER DONATION TAX CREDIT SIMPLIFICATION/ ALIGNMENT WITH GENERAL FOOD DONATION TAX CREDITS
The Farm to Food Donation Tax Credit Program established a tax credit for farmers who donate self-produced food commodities to food banks and food pantries. The current requirement is that the value of the food donated is in an amount equaling the lesser of $5,000 or 15% of the value of the commodities donated during the tax year for which the credit is claimed. We know farmers are generous and donating thousands of pounds of food annually. Unfortunately, the current process is often perceived as cumbersome and prevents some from participating so a streamlined and simplified approach is needed to ensure maximum participation.
ENHANCED FOOD TAX CREDIT TO ENCOURAGE HEALTHY FOOD PRODUCT (DAIRY, PRODUCE, PROTEIN)
An enhanced food tax credit for healthy food products such as dairy, produce, and protein, would promote the donation of these items which are in need within the emergency food system. Organizations that donate to nonprofit hunger-fighting organizations would have more incentive to donate healthy foods as they would receive a greater tax credit for their donation.
ALLOCATIONS OF DOLLARS TO ALL HUNGER FIGHTING ORGANIZATIONS FOR PURCHASING IOWA PRODUCED PRODUCT
The allocation of funds to hunger-fighting organizations for purchasing Iowa-produced products would incentivize the consumption of local goods and thus fight hunger in our own communities while supporting Iowa farmers.
ALLOCATIONS OF DOLLARS TO ALL HUNGER FIGHTING ORGANIZATIONS FOR STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION OF FOOD PRODUCTS TO SERVE THE FOOD INSECURE.
The allocation of dollars to local hunger-fighting organizations for storage and transportation of food products would increase capacity to keep food fresh and in an accessible location to provide it to the food insecure.
INCREASE ACCESS TO FOOD ASSISTANCE BENEFITS IN IOWA
Access to food assistance benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are vital to its recipients in choosing what food is best for their families, and decreased access would harm local grocers and farmers and increase food demand that food pantries and anti-hunger organizations would not be able to meet. Food Assistance benefits are a successful and essential tool in the fight to end poverty, and they generate positive economic activity in communities, so increased access would promote these advantages.
SALES TAX EXEMPTION
The sales price of tangible personal property used for emergency food services sold to one of the following nonprofit organizations:
- Churches and other religious organizations;
- Food banks and food pantries; or
- other 501c3 organizations providing emergency food services
for the purpose of this subsection, “emergency food services” means any services provided to fight hunger, ameliorate food insecurity or provide food to the indigent in the state, and shall include, without limitation, the actual purchase and provision of food and beverages, and transportation, distribution, storage, packaging and matters related to the management and administration of the same.