Friday, September 22, 2023

Donating To Local Food Banks

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How To Calculate The Value Of Your Tax

Here’s what you shouldn’t be donating to your local food bank

Now comes the tricky part. How much can you deduct from your taxes? There are a couple of rules to keep in mind:

  • If you donate cash to a food bank, make sure you get proper documentation. This could be in the form of a canceled check or receipt. If your donation is at least $250, you will need an official receipt from the charity that confirms the amount you gave.
  • The process isnt as straightforward for food you donate from your kitchen or purchase from the grocery store for the express purpose of giving. The general rule is that the amount you can deduct is the foods fair market value. So, if you donate $100 worth of groceries, you can deduct $100. If you bought the items on sale and only spent $70, you can still deduct the entire $100 based on the fair market value formula of the groceries.
  • If you operate a food-based business like a restaurant, grocery store, etc., you must submit a Donation of Food Inventory Worksheet to the IRS. Theres also an additional statement youll have to obtain from the donee confirming that they wont resell the food you donated.
  • Limited Liability Protection For Donors

    The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996 encourages the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. The Act exempts persons and gleaners who make good faith donations of food to nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry from liability for injuries arising from the consumption of the donated food.

    Under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, the following food donation standards apply:

    Persons and gleaners : Persons and gleaners, including qualified direct donors, shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food that the person or gleaner donates in good faith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to needy individuals.

    Nonprofit organizations: Nonprofit organizations shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food that the nonprofit organization received as a donation in good faith from a person or gleaner, including a qualified direct donor, for ultimate distribution to needy individuals.

    Donations of apparently wholesome food by qualified direct donors must be made in compliance with applicable state and local health, food safety, and food handling laws .

    What Are Other Ways To Support Your Local Food Bank

    Before collecting items to donate, it is best to reach out to your local food bank to see what they need. Feeding America has a registry that makes it easy to locate and contact the food bank closest to you.

    Do not attempt to donate home cooked or baked goods, though. Food pantries can only accept items in their original packaging.

    When browsing your pantry at home or making a shopping list, remember that food banks can accept unopened, non-perishable items, so skip the refrigerator and freezer aisles. Instead, check out this list of essential foods to donatetheyre always appreciated.

    Food banks in some communities also need volunteers, especially as older volunteers choose to stay home. Contact your local food bank to see how you can volunteerand dont forget to be patient. The staff is thankful for your help, even if they arent able to respond right away.

    Also Check: Food Banks In Cincinnati Ohio

    Read Also: Food Bank Donations Drop Off

    Which Gluten Free Foods Can I Donate To My Food Bank

    Food banks typically focus on non perishable tinned and dried foods. You can donate gluten free staple foods such as breakfast cereal, pasta and biscuits as well as rice, tinned fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and soup.

    A small number of food banks have freezers and are able to accept fresh bread for freezing. Contact your local food bank to see if it is able to accept shorter shelf life products such as gluten free bread.

    For information on benefits and financial advice see:

    • Turn2us have a number of easy to use tools include a benefits calculator, to find out what support you may be entitled to and a Grant Search to find out if you are eligible for financial help or support from a charitable fund. You can also find an adviser using their website.
    • Age UK also have an online Benefits Calculator and have trained advisors in over 150 areas who could help support you
    • Citizens Advice can also provide advice about money, benefits, housing or employment, either face to face, by phone or online by web chat, contact details are available on their website.

    Recommended Reading: How Do You Qualify For Food Banks

    How Your Money Is Used


    Giving to AzFBN is effective!

    Because we work with economies of scale your financial gifts to AzFBN go a long way. Because we deal with semi tractor-trailer loads of food, a little goes a long way! Of course your donations support hunger fighting programs, too, as we work toward a vision of a hunger free Arizona.

    Read Also: Akron Canton Food Bank Stark County

    Or That Requires Minimal Cooking

    Tinned potatoes are versatile and can be microwaved, and tinned meals such as curries or stews are popular. Neilly isnt a fan of canned pies mainly because they take half an hour in the oven. But other food banks might welcome them: A couple of them for a family, with some veg, is great, says Coleman.

    What To Donate To Food Banks As Cooking Costs Rise

    Life Editor at HuffPost UK

    With household bills set to skyrocket in April, food banks and community hubs are already seeing the impact of the cost of living crisis.

    In Cambridge officially the UKs most unequal city around 150 households already use the Abbey Food Hub each week, and demand is only expected to grow.

    Amid concerns about rising fuel costs, the charitys CEO, Nicky Shepard, tells HuffPost UK that people dont want things that need to cook for a long time. Hub users will choose packets of pre-cooked rice, for example, instead of uncooked rice that takes 20 minutes to boil.

    It comes after Icelands CEO Richard Walker told BBC Radio 4s Today programme that some food bank users are refusing to take raw potatoes, due to rising cooking costs.

    Its worth mentioning that the people we work with have been struggling since October or before, Shepard adds. For the people were working with, theres not enough coming in to cover fuel costs now. So the increase is going to be devastating for people.

    Read Also: Hawaii Food Bank Distribution Locations

    Money Not Going As Far For Food Banks

    LANSING, Mich. -Every year 6 news takes $10 to the grocery store to show you just how valuable a money donation is to local food banks, versus actual donated items, but as 6 News has found out, inflation is deflating buying power.

    When we showed up, it was another super busy December day at the Greater Lansing Food Bank, filled with trying to feed thousands of needy Mid-Michiganders.

    Its always hard a hard task to do, but Kelly Miller, director of philanthropy with the food bank says, 2022 has been the toughest.

    It has been. Its the supply chain, its lower donations, but were purchasing more food than we ever have before and its costing us more, even at the food bank.

    A perfect example of how tough its been is that every year at WLNS-TV, weve taken $10 to a grocery store and tried to stretch it as far as possible, then compare what we got with what the Greater Lansing Food Bank can do with that same amount of money.

    Its always eye-popping, year after year to see the large disparity, but this holiday season, the shocking difference is when you compare what food bank officials can now get with $10 when compared to the recent past.

    Usually its this entire table, says Miller. And now its about a third and that is due to inflation.

    In addition, tall aisles designated for USDA food donations are mostly empty due to supply chain issues and its directly forcing the food bank to buy more food in 2022, in fact, thats up 56%.

    Knowing What They Dont Accept

    SC farmers donate fresh produce to local food banks in need

    Its worth making sure you know your local food bank does and doesnt accept as there is no point donating items they are unable to use. No food banks will accept alcohol or tins and packets that are dented or damaged. Avoid donating fizzy, high sugar drinks as your money could be spent on much more valuable donation like a bottle of squash that would last a lot longer. Stick to small of family-sized packets as food bank parcels only contain three days worth of food and often they wont have resources to repackage and redistribute bulk donations.

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    Where Is My Local Food Bank

    There are 2,000 food banks across the UK, with the majority of them run by The Trussell Trust and the others run by the Independent Food Aid Network.

    The easiest way to find the food bank nearest you is through the Trussell Trust website, where you can search for the food banks in your area. You’ll also be able to find out when they’re open and the best way to contact them there. It’s best to call before turning up with a donation as the information online about opening hours might not be up-to-date.

    Consider More Expensive Items

    Corned beef wasnt that expensive and lots of people donated it, but weve seen that drop off massively because of the price, says Jen Coleman, CEO of Black Country food bank. Billy McGranaghan, founder and chief executive of Dads House, a support organisation and food bank in London, says it buys tins of tuna and sardines every week to keep stocks up.

    Read Also: St Mark’s Food Bank

    How To Donate To A Food Bank

    With the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, food banks are being relied upon more than ever before. If you’re wondering how to help, here’s everything you need to know about food bank donations.

    Food banks work with support from the public, who donate non-perishable food at a range of places such as schools, churches, and local businesses, as well as supermarket collection points. Then volunteers sort the produce into emergency food parcels to give to people in need. A large majority of food banks also provide extra services alongside the emergency food parcels, such as toiletries, sanitary products, and baby basics.

    According to recent stats published by The Trussel Trust , 95% of people referred to food banks in early 2020 were unable to afford to eat or stay warm and dry. As well as 18% of households referred to food banks were single parents – more than twice the rate in the general population. Trussel Trust added “We know that extremely low income is a key factor driving people to food banks.” Therefore donating to a food bank is needed now more than ever.

    How To Volunteer At Food Banks

    Customers at Asda Gosforth donate 17 trolley loads of food to local ...

    Food bank volunteers are needed to help out in many different ways at food banks. There is a wide variety of volunteer work, from delivering meals to helping with bookkeeping. If youre searching for ways to give back to your community, here are a few more prevalent ones.

    It is important to build separate profiles when signing up to volunteer. Find a food bank that needs volunteers and sign up for their service that works with your schedule. In this manner, you may plan ahead of time and be available when it is most needed. If you want to know when and where you can volunteer, visit their website. There are many options, so keep looking.

    Volunteers are needed at food banks to help with various activities, including assembling meal kits, making phone calls to those in need, and running errands. Volunteers could assist with specialized chores like sewing masks, distributing fliers, or creating social support calls. However, the majority of the labor is done in an anonymous capacity. Another option is to show up at an event and provide assistance. If you want to help at a food bank but arent sure youre up to the challenge, check out their website first.

    Recommended Reading: Second Harvest Food Bank Orlando Volunteer

    Do Food Banks Need Toiletries

    When it comes to non-food items you can donate to a food bank, this can include deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes, sanitary towels and tampons.

    Many also accept household items such as laundry powder or liquids and washing up liquid, as well as baby supplies like nappies, baby wipes and baby food.

    It is worth remembering that luxury items many of us take for granted are out of the question for people struggling to put food on the table. Stick to the lists put together by food banks to ensure you are helping combat hunger, but some services have bonus tables where treats are given out especially in the run-up to Christmas if you decide to donate something special alongside the essentials.

    Why You Should Donate To A Food Bank

    A record 320,000 people have sought help from Trussell Trust food banks over the last six months, with demand outstripping supply for the first time ever.

    The charity has been forced to launch an emergency appeal to ensure that food banks can meet the alarming level of need across the country.

    Food banks are at breaking point both physically and mentally and they are set to face their hardest winter yet, the Trussell Trust has warned. They expect to provide an average of more than 7,000 emergency food parcels a day in the next six months.

    Josie Barlow, food bank manager at Bradford Foodbank, said: Someone who came to the food bank recently told me that buying milk is a luxury now. So many people are struggling with bills and food prices.

    Over 14.5 million people are living in poverty in the UK, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. That includes 4.3 million children.

    The cost of living crisis will worsen poverty rates, with more than one million people set to be plunged into poverty this winter.

    While anti-poverty campaigners lobby for long-term solutions like making the universal credit increase permanent, lifting the benefit cap and ending the two-child limit there remains an immediate need for people to get food even when they cant afford it.

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    Give Your Food Bank Donation Some Thought

    It really pays to give it some thought when donating to your local food bank some thought and those in need will benefit from your donations so much more. Here are a few last ideas on how to plan your food bank donations if youre planning on taking part in the reverse advent calendar campaign this year.

    What Should I Donate

    Tops Raise More Than 2.5 Million Meals Donations To Support Local Food Banks

    According to The Trussell Trust, which supports a network of more than 1,200 food banks around two thirds of all the food banks in the UK different food banks are short of different items. The charity has partnered with Give Food to compile a list of which essentials are needed where, accessible via a handy search tool on the website.

    Were encouraging people to pop in their postcode to bring up the details of their local food bank, their most needed items as well as a list of their drop-off points, a spokesperson tells The Independent.

    The Camden food bank, for example, needs gluten-free pasta and non-caffeinated teas as well as the more standard tinned items.

    However, there are some items that are welcome across the board, regardless of region:

    • Rice pudding/custard

    IFAN says its members are most in need of similar items, with the list including tinned vegetables, tinned meat and fish, pasta and pasta sauces, rice, cereal, UHT milk, biscuits and tinned soup.

    However, it adds: Most food banks need more of everything at the moment.

    Recommended Reading: Montgomery County Food Bank Volunteer

    Read Also: How Does Food Bank Work

    Can Expired Foods Be Donated

    Expired foods can be donated.We had to say it because not everyone knows it. Food items that are past their best before dates are accepted and appreciated at food donation stations and food banks across the country. Please help spread the word.

    Estimates vary, but each and every year a large percentage of food produced for people to eat in the U.S. goes to waste. When we began in 2011 the estimates of food waste were around 40%, wed like to think that people are putting a dent in that number so want to believe some of the more current estimates that have come in as low as 25-30%. Even if they are now lower, its still too high.

    You may be thinking: Is it OK to donate expired food?Do food banks accept expired foods? The answer to both questions is an overwhelming YES!!. That answer is even backed by the USDA.

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    The Best Foods For Food Donations

    • Rowan University

    There are a lot of food drives during the holidays. What food banks need most is cash, but when the Scouts come knocking at your door collecting food or youâre asked to bring a non-perishable item as entrance to the schools holiday concert, food is in order.

    NPR did a piece on the types of pantry staples that can help those who rely on food banks to build healthy meals. Food banks say the focus should be on on whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods to help people create healthy meals. Instead of donating foods that are high in salt, sugar and highly processed grains, bring foods that are high in protein, healthy fats and whole grains instead.

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