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From The Food Marketing Institute…
“Approving the Charity, Aid, Recovery and Empowerment or CARE Act (S. 476), the U.S. Senate has acted to help feed the 33 million Americans who do not know where their next meal will come from,” said Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) after the Senate passed the measure yesterday in a 95-5 vote.

“FMI research shows that more than eight in 10 food retailers donate generously to emergency feeding agencies at all levels, including America’s Second Harvest, the national network of 200 food banks,” Hammonds said. The CARE Act features a provision allowing all companies, public and private, to deduct the cost of food donated to hunger-relief charities at the fair market value or twice the cost basis.

The CARE Act extends the deduction to all business taxpayers and increases the amount to the fair market value determined by the company. “In a soft economy with high jobless rates, CARE will put more food on the tables of millions of hungry Americans. In addition, it corrects a wrong by allowing all companies to receive a fair measure of credit for their charitable food donations,” Hammonds said.

In 2002, the food industry donated 270 million pounds through Second Harvest. The total amount of food donations is much larger, Hammonds noted, because the Second Harvest figures do not reflect the millions of products that retailers and wholesalers donate directly to local charities.

Company size does not affect the willingness to give. In an FMI survey of 100 food retailers that donate food, the highest portion — 27 percent — were one-store operators, followed by 26 percent for companies with two to 10 stores. “Given the industry’s already-strong commitment to alleviating hunger,” Hammonds said, “The CARE Act may well produce a windfall of increased donations across the U.S.”
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