MAY 29, 2014 – Arlington, VA – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) issued the following statement this afternoon from FMI Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Jennifer Hatcher regarding the House Ways and Means Committee’s successful mark-up of H.R. 4719, which expands and permanently extends the charitable tax deduction for donations of food inventory:

“The Food Marketing Institute applauds the Ways and Means Committee’s efforts to pass H.R. 4719 and move it to the floor of the House for a vote by all Members.  Today’s mark-up was an important step toward bringing permanence and stability to the tax code. The stop-and-start process of temporarily extending the food donation deduction, only to have it expire and retroactively reinstated has made it almost impossible to effectively plan for and utilize this important charitable provision. The Committee’s vote today will provide the food wholesale and retail community with a step forward to ensure that clear guidelines are permanently in place.”

Hatcher further explained that, “H.R. 4719 creates a level playing field for all members of our industry. But we wouldn’t have gotten where we are without the hard work of the bill’s author Rep. Tom Reed and his seven co-sponsors. FMI would like to thank Rep. Reed and Reps. Jim Gerlach, Mike Kelly, Devin Nunes, Tim Griffin, Pat Tiberi, Erik Paulsen and Aaron Schock for helping to push this important legislation forward. We would also like to thank Chairman Dave Camp for holding today’s mark-up and the leadership he has shown in making this important charitable provision permanent.”

A 2012 survey of food donations conducted by Feeding America and FMI found that over 76 percent of retailers had donated inventory to food banks over the past year, contributions that equaled over 800 million pounds of safe, wholesome food. Contributions from the food retail industry have in fact become the single largest source of donation for the food banks within Feeding America’s network.

“Food banks across the country are still facing a huge demand from clients in need of a helping hand; today’s action will help to buoy the collaboration between members of the food wholesale and retail community and these Food Banks,” Hatcher concluded.