Utah’s hungry would benefit from "America Gives More" legislation

Legislation to reinstate several charitable deductions that could benefit hungry people in Utah and across the nation passed in the U.S. House this summer, but has been stalled in the Senate. Photo courtesy of Federal Emergency Management Agency.

SALT LAKE CITY – Food banks in Utah and across the nation could feed more hungry people if Congress restores some charitable deductions that expired this year. According to Ginette Bott, chief development officer at the Utah Food Bank, organizations such as hers and other nonprofit groups are watching the <a href=”https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4719″ target=”parent”>”America Gives More Act.”</a> It’s legislation that would reinstate federal tax credits for crop donations from farmers and food manufacturers.

“Utah Food Bank is responsible for the entire state,” Bott says. “From our perspective we’re looking for help, not just for a community or a county, but for a broader area. So this is crucial to us.”

The America Gives More Act passed in the House this summer still requires Senate approval for passage and has been stuck in committee. Bott says food banks are heading into their busiest time of year, so the additional donations from food businesses and farmers would be helpful.

She says despite the economic recovery in Utah and across the nation, many families are barely getting by.

“These families are working two and three part-time jobs,” says Bott. “They’re trying to make ends meet. Food is always the last thing on that line-item for their family budget, and there are a lot of families that still will continue to need our assistance, particularly children in our state.”

The America Gives More Act also would allow people to make charitable donations until April 15 for the previous tax year. But charitable deductions in general are getting more scrutiny in the debate about how to make the U.S. tax laws less complicated.

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