Local Food Act – now officially named Bill 36: An Act to enact the Local Food Act, 2013 and to amend the Taxation Act, 2007 to provide a tax credit to farmers for donating certain agricultural products that they have produced (see Bill 36 here) has officially passed a final vote in the provincial legislature. The Act passed unanimously and is the first of its kind in Canada.
The JUST LED US Food Security Initiative will provide an important opportunity for food producers to recoup some of their production costs. The Local Food Act will benefit people by making the connection between buying local and helping grow an important Ontario industry. If we increase demand to homegrown food, we will create jobs and boost the agri-food sector’s contributions to our economy.
“Many Canadian farms already donate fresh vegetables, fruits and other products to food banks, and there is a lot of room to grow. A tax credit would have a positive effect on farmers’ bottom lines, and increase the amount of nutritious food available to those in need – it’s a win on both sides.”-Ron Bonnett, President of the CFA
The fresh food tax credit will provide more food for Canada’s food banks and families in need while creating a valuable cost-recuperation tax credit for Canada’s farmers.
The plan also represents a valuable investment for the federal government as every dollar foregone in national revenue will result in seven dollars worth of food for Canada’s food banks while simultaneously helping Canadian farmers make ends meet.
This is a step in the direction of educating our youth in food literacy, security and sustainability. Such efforts will be a definite value for our immediate future and the future of all Canadians. As you may very well know, a healthy diet promotes the normal growth and development of children and helps prevent the development of obesity and related chronic diseases as they age.
•841 191 people use food banks every month,
•4 million people live in a state of food insecurity (10% of Canada’s population),
•1 in 3 children and youth require help from food banks,
•In Canada 38% of food that is distributed is fresh (this encourages a well balanced diet),
•50% offer food focused programming to help improve nutrition and food skills,
•40% offer skill building programs to help find employment such as educating or training, helping with budgeting and home economics,
•Close to 40% offer social programs geared in assisting children and new Mom’s.
•Food banks acquire and share 200 million pounds of food to those in need every year. While this is a significant amount of food, it accounts for only 0.3% of the value of food manufactured in Canada each year 2.
Some of the contributing factors to poverty and an increased need for food banks are loss of jobs, unemployment rates, many people don’t have the skills needed for today’s labour market; rising food and housing costs, cuts to government expenditures – leaving many Ontarians with financial troubles; old age and disability pensions do not provide enough to cover more than basic needs and we are faced with inadequate social programs for people facing hard times.
There are also other factors that are often overlooked such as environmental anomalies which have affected jobs and the food supply chain. With such awareness to ever-changing environmental factors such as dry summers leaving fields empty or with ruined crops, we must consider that indoor green housing and food production may be a significant factor which will alter the current key issues.
JUST LED US Inc. is advocating and pursuing a reality to where we can foresee a future reduction in food bank use. One step at a time, we are attempting to prevent hunger for a better today. We are offering a reduced pricing plan for the lights that we carry for farmers and agri-food sector production facilities; this also reaches out to Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) farmers who are willing to form a plan to integrate giving of their produce to food banks. We believe that our offer is one way in creating a sustainable, ecological, equitable, and prosperous food system in Ontario, as growing produce all year round is a fundamental concern for all Northern communities.
We are hereby providing an awareness of information, set out above, regarding amendments to the current food act which creates a tax credit for farmers who donate their products to their local food bank.
There are many Canadians who are consistently looking forward with dedication to such a promising future where food security issues in Canada can be adhered to and further answered.
Please inquire via the contact form below. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your business name -what you grow, relative planning, your goals and the estimated contributing factors you wish to implement – which will help with food security and food banks.