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Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank becomes first area food bank to offer tax credits to farmers

Volunteers stock shelves at food bank (
Volunteers stock shelves at food bank

MASON CITY – Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank is the first food bank in northern Iowa that is able to provide a tax incentive to farmers for their donations of meat and produce, a food bank volunteer told NIT.

Ozzie Ohl, project coordinator and a volunteer with Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank, described the program.

“We are very excited about this program,” Mr. Ohl said. “This new program establishes a tax credit for farmers who donate self produced food to Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank”. Local farmers can receive a tax credit in an amount equaling the lesser of $5,000 or 15% of the value of the self produced food they donate.”

The tax credit is a credit against taxes due and is applicable to the 2014 tax year.

Ozzie Ohl
Ozzie Ohl

“Currently we have had two farming operations that have recently provided us with a donation from their fruit and vegetable crops” added Ohl. Fresh fruit and produce are also a luxury to many of those helped by the food bank.

“We hope that more of our local and area farmers will see how they can help with a donation of their beef, pork, eggs and other edible farm grown items. We have a huge need for protein”.

In the past Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank was able to get most of our meat for fourteen cents a pound through the Food Bank of Iowa. That changed in September and since then they are now having to purchase that meat locally. “We simply cannot sustain that type of monthly expense,” explained Ohl.

This new incentive program has been made possible by the Iowa legislature’s Farm to Food Donation Tax Credit Program.

Farmers interested in helping Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank can either call the food bank at 641-424-3073 or email to find out how they can get involved in the Farm to Food Donation Tax Credit Program

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