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B.C. farmers to get tax credit for food bank donations

B.C. farmers who donate surplus food to food banks, charities and school lunch programs are now able to claim a tax credit, Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick announced on Thursday morning.

The credit is worth 25 per cent of the fair market value of the qualifying agricultural product donated to a registered charity by individuals and corporations that carry on the business of farming.

The agricultural product may include meat products, eggs or dairy products, fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, herbs, honey, maple syrup, mushrooms, nuts or other produce that has been grown, raised or harvested on a farm in B.C.

Table Matters Food Rescue experts Rubina Jamal and Scott Rowe wonder about the legislation, which will be reviewed in 2018.

At first glance the premise is valid, but taking a closer look reveals several concerns: Will there be a baseline quality standard for food to be donated? Will community organizatios have the capacity to handle that food? Will this action significantly reduce food waste? Will food insecurity be appropriately addressed?

Food policy and community development projects that build a sustainable food system and make healthy food accessible for everyone living on the North Shore.