South Georgia Farmers Donate Produce To Food Bank

| December 5, 2014


VALDOSTA  — December 4, 2014 – South Georgia’s farmers continued their tradition of generosity this year by donating nearly 4 million pounds of food to Second Harvest of South Georgia. South Georgia grows more than 65% of the state’s fruits and vegetables. Farm to Family, a program Second Harvest food bank, collects the excess produce donated by farmers and packing sheds that would otherwise go to waste for distribution to those in need.

1 in 4 people in South Georgia are unable to afford the food they need including many seniors and working parents whose budgets are squeezed by the economic downturn. Families and individuals are increasingly turning the to local charities and ministries to help put food on the table and make ends meet. At the same time, donations from manufacturers have dropped leaving a gap between what families need and what the food bank has to distribute. Excess produce can help fight hunger and help our area business at the same time. By donating to Second Harvest, farmers can reduce costs and potentially receive a tax benefit, all while helping to feed the less fortunate in our community.

South Georgians stand to benefit greatly from proposed tax legislation which would extend and expand expired tax incentives for charitable food contributions, including making the deductions permanent. These donations are crucial to the work for the nation’s food banks like Second Harvest. The proposed legislation would increase the amount of food being donated while reducing existing barriers to donations. Most small farmers and packing sheds do not qualify for the same tax deductions as corporations. The US House of Representatives passed HR 5771 this week which would extend the current measures. The Senate will likely consider the legislation this week.

“Growing up in a South Georgia farm family, we were taught to the importance of caring for our neighbors. That’s exactly what our area farmers help us do,” said Second Harvest of South Georgia’s Eliza McCall. “We’re working tirelessly with our Members of Congress to make sure that our small farmers are afforded the same reward for their generosity as larger operations.”

Eliza R. McCall: Chief Marketing Officer


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