By Bob Katzen

A proposal that would provide civil liability protections to individuals, restaurants and organizations that make direct food donations to persons in need received a favorable report from the Judiciary Committee back on February 28, 2021 but has been languishing in the House Ways and Means Committee since that time.

The donor would receive a tax credit or deduction. The bill also provides Massachusetts farmers who donate locally produced excess crops to nonprofit food distribution organizations a tax credit for the year of the donation.

“This legislation would encourage the donation of food during a time in which the commonwealth continues to struggle with food insecurity as a result of the pandemic,” said sponsor Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). Our state saw the highest rate of growth in food insecurity in the nation during the pandemic and food donations are needed to serve our most vulnerable residents. This bill will also incentivize farmers to donate food, setting up a pipeline between farms and food donation organizations, strengthening our food system, and offering farmers the opportunity for a tax credit.”

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