By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- The CEO of the Oregon Food Bank thanked farmers for donating fresh produce to regional food banks, and asked for more during a press conference at the Oregon Capitol April 18.
"We cannot express how much we absolutely love donations of local fresh produce," said Susannah Morgan, the food bank CEO.
"It is one of the best ways that we can increase the nutritional quality of food that we distribute," she said.
In Salem to promote legislation that would benefit the food bank, Morgan said produce donations are a favorite of food bank users.
"It is one of the most popular foods for low-income people to receive," she said.
"If (farmers) are finding that they might be leaving food in the ground because they can't get it harvested, we strongly urge them to contact Oregon Food Bank," Morgan said.
"We have lots of options on how to work them," she said.
Among legislation the Oregon Food Bank is endorsing is Senate Bill 430. It establishes a tax deduction for farmers and food processors that donate to the food bank.
A previous tax credit for food donations has expired.
"We heard from growers and processors that they wouldn't be able to donate to the limit they were able to previously without some form of tax break," said John Stubenvoll, director of advocacy for the Oregon Food Bank.
The bill is in the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee.