PORTLAND -- Farmers and food banks are joining forces to keep healthy fresh fruits and vegetables on the plates of hungry Oregonians.
One farmer in Canby said up until this year he was one of the biggest donors to the Oregon Food Bank. But after some recent tax changes he may no longer be able to donate any of his crop.
Jason Montecucco and his family run Montecucco Farms, which has been around since 1920. Every year the farm donates hundreds of thousands of pounds of produce to area food banks, often vegetables that may be misshapen or too large or small for the grocery stores.
Before this year Oregon farmers got a tax credit for that donation, but that credit expired. And with no financial incentive to offset the cost of harvesting, sorting, and moving that food, many farmers--like Montecucco--have said they'll no longer be able to afford to donate it.
"You get a write-off by donating to campaigns," he said. "but to feed people that are hungry, the farmer gets nothing. We get nothing now."
The Oregon Food Bank is working with lawmakers on a bill that would give some incentive back to farmers for donation, by giving them a tax deduction. For the farmers, any little bit helps.