Food Bank gets a Boost

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COLUMBIA- The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri was awarded $250,000 in tax credits for the 2012 fiscal year.  With this additional money the food bank can get up to 28 million pounds of food and continue expanding its Buddy Pack system in local schools.

Peggy Kirkpatrick is the Executive Director for the food bank. She said they receive tax credits almost ever year but they have not received the full amount - $250,000 - every year. Last year the food bank was awarded $100,000 in tax credits.

It is a competitive process and Kirkpatrick said they've been anxiously waiting since July.  The demand for food has continued going up and this new credit will help bring in new donors to continue to meet the need.

The food bank is ranked tenth in the nation out of more than 200 Feed America food banks when it comes to the amont of food they turn over each month.  The second nearest in Missouri food bank, Harvesters in Kansas City, is ranked 100th.  The food bank is also one of only five of "Feed America" food banks nationwide that gives away food for free.

A food bank spokesperson said the food at the food bank is donated to them by businesses, corporations and individuals.  The food bank pays for the transportation to bring in the food as well as delivery it to over 130 pantries.  The money donated will help cover the costs of this transportation.

Warehouse Manager Charles Forbis said he'll make sure there is plenty of room for this increase in food shipments.  It means his crew will have to work more quickly in the Warehouse to accommodate the food. 

Kirkpatrick said a tax credit is different from a tax deduction.  With a tax credit, once all the deductions are taken off the state income tax then a business can apply this tax credit to what it owes the state.  This further reduces tax liability to the state for that tax year. This means that businesses get a 50 percent state tax credit besides being able to take the taxes off their federal and state tax liability.

Kirkpatrick is excited to be able to offer this tax credit option to loyal donors as a small token of appreciation for their contributions.  She said with the help of these contributions, the food bank is able to feed 100,000 people a month.  That's equivalent to feeding nearly the entire city of Columbia each month.

"This is just going to be just an awesome tool to be able to help us to stretch our dollars even further."

The food bank is already underway in reaching the project 28 million pounds for this fiscal year.