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FAR FROM TAXING SITUATION

- Farmers Encouraged to Donate Their Surplus Produce to Local Food Banks in Exchange for Tax Credit -

(NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY) – With harvest season in full swing, local farmers are being reminded about a new tax credit that rewards them for donating their agricultural products to a good cause.

Ontario’s new Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers is a win-win for those who grow, raise or harvest food on a farm, as well as people who rely on community food programs like food banks, according to Kimberly Leadbeater, a Registered Dietitian with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

“Farmers win by getting a tax credit for any surplus food they donate to a worthwhile cause,” says Leadbeater. “Organizations like food banks also benefit by receiving fresh, local food to share with their clients.”

The Health Unit is promoting the Food Donation Tax Credit this fall as another option for farmers in the area who may have surplus agricultural products. The Ontario government introduced the tax credit just over a year ago, and it remains the only program of its kind in Canada.

Under the Food Donation Tax Credit program, Ontario farmers will receive a tax credit equal to 25 per cent of the total value of the agricultural products that are donated. The farmer’s donation must be made to a recognized community program such as a food bank that distributes food free-of-charge to people.

Agricultural products that qualify for the tax credit include: fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs or dairy products, fish, grains, herbs, honey, maple syrup, mushrooms or nuts. “In other words, anything grown, raised or harvested from a farm is eligible for a tax credit,” Leadbeater notes.

Complete details about the Food Donation Tax Credit Program are available through the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website.

Farmers who want to find a local food program to donate to in their community are encouraged to call the Health Unit at (613) 475-0933, ext. 4235, or toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 4235.

“All it takes is one call, and we can connect you to a community food program that will be grateful for your generosity of farm-fresh food,” Leadbeater adds.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Kimberly Leadbeater, Registered Dietitian, HKPR District Health Unit, (613) 475-0933, or 1-866-888-4577, ext. 4235.

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