TRENTON, N.J. – Aiming to help New Jerseyans facing food insecurity, the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee passed Assemblyman Jay Webber’s legislation creating a state income tax deduction for businesses that make charitable food donations.
“Food banks are struggling to meet the increase in demand as more and more families are unable to afford the prices at grocery stores. The incredibly generous spirit of New Jerseyans is what keeps pantries open and families fed. It’s time the state starts to recognize these charitable donations by providing an income tax deduction,” Webber (R-Morris) said.
More than 14% of New Jersey households surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau said they were struggling with food insecurity at the end of June, according to the Household Pulse survey. Meanwhile, the cost of food has risen 18% over the past two years. Prices for staples like milk and eggs have increased 27% and 60% respectively.
Webber’s bill, A2344, would mirror the federal income tax deduction for food donations made from business inventory. He has introduced it during every legislative session since 2018.
“By offering an incentive like a state tax deduction, we hope to reward those who already do good, encourage more donations, and recognize the businesses that selflessly serve our communities,” Webber added. “This is an important piece of legislation that can help address hunger. It is time to get it to the finish line.”
To be eligible for the deduction, businesses would have to make the donation to an organization that the IRS has determined is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. In addition, the food must fit the federal definition of “apparently wholesome food,” meaning it meets all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state, and local laws and regulations.