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Tax Check-Off Program: A Reason to Look Forward to Tax Season

December 15, 2016

While rummaging through receipts and scrutinizing deductions is not typically cause for celebration, the thought of tax season’s approach might actually bring food banks a bit of joy. The tax check-off program provides much-needed support for California and its residents. When taxpayers check the donate option on the California state income tax form, they have the opportunity to assist charitable causes, such as the Emergency Food for Families Fund. Contributions to this fund go directly to local food banks.

With many of our safety net programs facing an uncertain future, providing food for low-income Californians is more important than ever. CAFB Director of Government Affairs Andrew Cheyne is currently working to get the fund renewed and introducing legislation for an extended time frame and set minimum contributions.

“The Emergency Food for Families Fund is the only reliable source of state resources to food banks in California,” he shared. “It is an amazing opportunity for everyone to play a role in feeding California’s hungry.”

On average, $1 donated to food banks can purchase five meals. Therefore, a contribution can go much further than if donors were to buy food themselves. This year half a million dollars came from the Emergency Food for Families Fund, which equates to about 2.5 million meals. While that is a substantial amount, the most recent data from Feeding America shows that California would need almost $3 billion to provide nearly 953 million more meals for those who don’t have enough to eat.

Food bankers and anti-hunger advocates should share information about the donate option on the state income tax form, letting Californians know about an easy way to support their neighbors in need. CAFB will create a toolkit for the tax check-off program, so stay tuned for more information. 













Photograph by Brian J Kelly

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