Tax Credit for VA Farmers Donating Fresh Produce to VA Food Banks

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In mid-June, Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe, signed a tax credit program into law.  This program would provide a tax credit to Virginia farmers who donate fresh fruits and veggies to nonprofit food banks.

The bill was introduced in January 2016 to the House as HB 1063 and to the Senate as SB 580.  The tax credit would be equivalent to 30% of the fair market value of the crops donated without exceeding $5,000 each year.

So, in other words, Virginia farmers who choose to donate fresh fruits and vegetables (free of charge) to nonprofit food banks in Virginia will now earn about 30%  of their value (instead of 0%).   This provides a great incentive for the donation of these healthy foods that are sorely needed in food donation centers and banks.

The Department of Taxation is setting aside $250,000 for this tax credit each fiscal year.  Whatever funds are not used by the end of the year will be carried to the next.  This program is scheduled to last for five years (until January 1st, 2022).

The Federation of Virginia Food Banks is a non-profit state association of food banks and is the largest hunger-relief network in Virginia with 7 food banks in its network.  Click on each below to learn more and get involved in your community.

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank                                                 https://www.brafb.org/

Capital Area Food Bank                                                        https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/

Fredericksburg Area Food Bank                                         http://www.fredfood.org/

Feeding America Southwest Virginia                                https://www.faswva.org/

FeedMore, Inc. (a.k.a. Central Virginia Food Bank)      https://feedmore.org/

Foodbank of Southeaster Virginia                                     http://www.foodbankonline.org/

Virginia Peninsula Foodbank                                             http://www.hrfoodbank.org/

Author: Devon L. Golem, PDevon L Golem PhD RDhD, RD is the new VAND Professional Education Chair.  She is originally a Californian, but has lived in many states.  She has been an RD since 2003 and has worked in a variety of settings with many different patients.  She earned her PhD in both Nutritional and Exercise Sciences from Rutgers University.  She has since worked in academia as a department chair and a dietetics program director.  She is now the founder of the Institute of Continuing Education for Nutrition Professionals which aims to enhance the expertise of nutrition professionals through engaging education.

 

Loudoun County’s Farm to School Program Named “One in a Melon”

Voted Top Farm to School Program in Virginia!

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service recently awarded Loudoun County Public Schools a “One in a Melon” award for administering an exemplary Farm to School program.  One school district per state was selected for the award by receiving the most public nominations.

From March 15 – April 15, parents, teachers, community stakeholders, and students were invited to visit USDA’s Farm to School Census website and nominate their favorite Farm to School program to receive the award.  According to the Census, 57% of Virginia school districts say they participate in Farm to School activities — That’s 68 districts with 1,319 schools and 886,775 students! A total of 5,254 school districts participate across the United States.

Farm to School programs help kids form healthy habits, learn where their food comes from, and develop an understanding of the importance of nutrition and agriculture.   Results of the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census show that schools with robust farm to school programs report reductions in food waste, higher school meal participation rates, and increased willingness of the students to try new foods, notably fruits and vegetables.  Census results also show that U.S. schools invested nearly $800 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers in the 2013- 2014 school year, which is money going directly back into local communities.

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Teresa Lucas, DTR is the incoming NVAND President, and she works for the Loudon County Public Schools as an Operations Specialist.

Farm to School Program in Virginia

Loudon CountyIn Loudoun County, Virginia, the Loudoun County Public Schools students are excited about the farmer trading cards that feature 12 local farms! The trading cards are the inspiration of the School Nutrition Services Supervisor, Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays. The trading cards were provided by the Loudoun County VA, Economic Development Office in conjunction with a USDA grant that was awarded to Loudoun County Public Schools. Trading cards are provided to elementary grade students during lunch service. They highlight the farm and farmer with information about the products they provide, number of years in farming and fun facts students may enjoy. The trading cards have gotten national attention with interest as far as Tennessee.  This weekend, you can visit these farms through their Spring Farm Tour!Teresa_Lucas

 

Teresa Lucas, DTR, is the incoming president of the Northern Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NVAND).