SENATOR MURKOWSKI INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO INCREASE FOOD DONATIONS TO ALASKA NATIVES
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Senator Lisa Murkowski today introduced legislation to help increase the amount of food donations going to Alaska Natives and American Indians.
The legislation would amend the Federal tax code to make corporate charitable donations of food to Native tribes tax deductible. Section 170(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code allows corporations to take an enhanced tax deduction for donations of food inventory; however, the food must be distributed to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, such as food banks. Under current law, tribes do not qualify as eligible recipients.
“Over 35 million Americans face challenges in getting enough food to eat and Natives constitute a disproportionate amount of this group,” Senator Murkowski said. “With this simple correction to the tax code, we can help charitable organizations do more to help our Native communities.
With this legislative fix, in Alaska, approximately half of the food donated to the Food Bank of Alaska from corporations could go to tribes throughout the state. Much of this food would go to villages that are only accessible by air or water. In South Dakota, roughly 30 percent of the food the Community Food Banks of South Dakota distributes could go to reservations. In North Dakota, the amount of food donated to the Great Plains Food Bank could double if this legislation were enacted. The Montana Food Bank Network projects that food donations could increase by 16 percent. A food bank based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, estimates that their food donations could triple in the first year alone.
“It is imperative that we address this important issue expeditiously,” said Senator Murkowski. “The health and well-being of low income American Indians and Alaska Natives across the Nation are at stake.”