Missourians who made monetary donations to food pantries in 2013 may claim a tax credit on their 2013 tax return, because of a bill passed during Missouri's 2013 legislative session.
Taxpayers are entitled to credits equal to half of their monetary donation - with a maximum of $2,500 in credits.
"This credit isn't just for big corporations or the wealthy," said Glenn Koenen, chair of the Hunger Task Force for the Missouri Association for Social Welfare (MASW). "People who shared $50 or $100 with a food pantry in their neighborhood can claim this credit and reduce their taxes."
Tax returns must be postmarked by April 15.
The Food Pantry Tax Credit expired in 2011, but the Missouri Legislature reinstated it last session with an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2019.
A 2014 Senate bill that has passed through a Senate committee seeks to raise the cap of the amount of food pantry tax credits issued in a year from $1.25 million to $1.75 million beginning with the 2015 fiscal year.
Marylyn DeFeo, volunteer executive director of the Samaritan Center, is thrilled to again have the incentive for food pantry donations.
"It (the tax credit) has been very successful for us," she said. "A lot of people have been wanting it. It helps us because we have such an enormous amount of people to feed."
She said that while the Samaritan Center's food pantry does rely on food drives, the agency is always buying items, especially perishables such as milk, eggs and meat.
Monetary donations help with that.
DeFeo said she lobbied to various legislators as well as the governor's office to get the food pantry tax credits reinstated.
"We're very grateful to the legislators for doing this," she said. "People are struggling, and are working, but not for enough money to go around. We're just thankful for those who did it (reinstated the credits) and those who give."
To receive the Food Pantry Tax Credit for a monetary donation, you must submit a form, dor.mo.gov/forms/MO-FPT_2013.pdf, to the food pantry that received the donation. You must also submit a form, dor.mo.gov/forms/MO-TC_2013.pdf, with your tax return.
For more information about the Food Pantry Tax Credit, visit dor.mo.gov/taxcredit/.