Hoping to Fill Food Banks

1 decade 4 years 2 weeks ago Monday, January 30 2006 Jan 30, 2006 Monday, January 30, 2006 5:53:08 PM CST January 30, 2006 in News

A state lawmaker is proposing a way to encourage people to donate to Missouri food pantries. House Speaker Rod Jetton's plan would give people and businesses a 50% tax credit for their food donations.

Pantry workers said the public needs to realize the need for donations.

"As utility bills come in that are higher, the need goes up," said Julie Lander, director of SERVE Food Pantry. "As school comes to a close, the need goes up."

SERVE workers are excited about the idea, because they had to close for a time last August when their shelves were bare.

"It allows us a chance to leverage with businesses that wouldn't normally donate," said Lander.

About 85% of SERVE's food comes from the Central Missouri Food Bank.

"Most food pantries don't go out and write proposals to get tax credits," explained Peggy Kirkpatrick, director of the food bank. "So, I think it's going to have a tremendous impact in assisting them."

But, SERVE workers said they don't expect a big jump in donations if the plan passes.

"It wouldn't solve every problem," said Lander, "because we have a lot of donors that give just because they want to give. It's an individual thing."

About 75,000 mid-Missourians depend on free food each month. To donate, call the Central Missouri Food Bank at 573-474-1020.

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