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A new tax credit is helping put nutritious, fresh, locally grown food on the plates of those who need it most.
The Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers — the only one of its kind in Canada — is giving farmers a tax credit valued at 25 per cent of the fair market value of the agricultural products they donate to community food programs, including food banks and student nutrition programs.
The tax credit is a part of the Ontario government’s local food strategy and Local Food Act, 2013 to promote the good things that are grown and harvested across the province.
Building a stronger agri-food industry is part of the government’s economic plan to support a dynamic and innovative business climate, invest in people and invest in infrastructure.
“This new tax credit will help farmers donate more fresh food to their local food banks, which will support our farmers, drive local economic growth, and benefit families in communities across the province.”
— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
“Ontario’s farmers have a long tradition of donating their agricultural products to charitable causes, and we believe this credit will both honour that tradition and help motivate others to donate.”
Neil Currie, General Manager, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
“Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy local food, and we applaud the Ontario government for introducing a tax credit that will encourage more farmers to make that food available to families and individuals who need it most. Many food bank clients do not receive the recommended daily servings of fruits, vegetables, and protein, which causes additional strains on one’s health and well-being. A balanced diet with local, fresh, and nutritious foods will help improve the health of food bank clients as well as the health of communities across Ontario.”
— Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Food Banks
“Hamilton Food Share has focused on increasing the amount of fresh product distributed to local emergency food programs as the thousands of people who visit a food bank do not have access to fresh food on an ongoing basis. We remain deeply committed to food security and we believe the new tax credit for farm donations will help us forge new partnerships within the agricultural sector in our community.”
— Joanne Santucci, Executive Director, Hamilton Food Share.
One-third of the 375,000 Ontarians served by a food bank every month are children.
More than 600,000 children and youth participate in breakfast, snack and lunch programs in communities across Ontario.
Under the proclaimed legislation, farmers can claim the new tax credit for donations dating back to Jan. 1, 2014.
Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes about $34 billion to the province’s economy and supports more than 740,000 jobs across Ontario.
Find local food sources and organizations on the ministry’s Local Food webpage
Seasonal recipes at Foodland Ontario