Feeding the Hungry With a Tax Check-Off, Assemblyman Magee Proposes

Bill to establish tax check-off for food banks introduced in Assembly and Senate
January 22, 2003

Recognizing the daily struggle that our Food Banks are faced with in feeding the hungry, Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Nelson) has introduced legislation (A.865) which would establish a tax check-off for our food banks.

“Unfortunately, there are people throughout this state, in both rural and urban areas, that rely on our Food Banks for a healthy and nutritious meal,” Magee said. “We must ensure that these Food Banks have the necessary resources to continue to serve our neediest families.”

The Food Bank check-off would be similar to others already established including the “Return a Gift to Wildlife” voluntary contribution which was created in 1982 with the goal of providing additional funding to support fish and wildlife conservation. In 1999, Return a Gift to Wildlife received approximately $580,000 in contributions from taxpayers on their annual tax return.

“Wouldn’t it be simply wonderful if we could match the success of some of the other check-off programs currently on tax returns,” Magee commented. “Knowing that every dollar raised would benefit a mother, a father, a son or a daughter all across this State.”

There are approximately 3,000 soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters providing food to lower income people throughout New York State with over 900,000 New Yorkers relying on Emergency Food Programs, or soup kitchens and food pantries, each week.

“Unfortunately, the need is there for the services our food banks provide and as the economy continues to recharge more and more people are going to need food assistance – so we have got to ensure that our food banks can help all those in need of help,” Magee concluded.