Ontario is taking the wraps off a tax credit for farmers who donate their products to community food programs, including food banks and student nutrition programs.
Under the new food donation tax credit, farmers will be eligible to receive 25% of the fair market value of the products they donate.
According to the Liberal government, this tax credit is the only one of its kind in Canada and will help farmers donate more fresh food to their local food banks.
The province says the program is part of the government’s strategy aimed at building a stronger agri-food industry. Officials add that Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes $34 billion to the province’s economy, and supports more than 740,000 jobs.
Farmers can claim the new tax credit for donations dating back to January 1st of this year.
The Ontario Association of Food Banks applauded the rollout of the new tax credit, saying everyone in the province should have the opportunity to enjoy local food.
“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,” the association’s executive director, Bill Laidlaw, said in a statement.
“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.”