Food bank sales tax break could be cut -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Food bank sales tax break could be cut

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Sales tax breaks could be slashed for organizations as a way to fix the state budget shortfalls.

Food banks are one of the targets. That's why America's Second Harvest of South Georgia is urging the community to contact lawmakers to keep this from happening.

They say if it's lost the millions of meals to feed the hungry could be gone too.

Food banks could lose their sales tax break.

"In the local community it would mean a loss of around $250,000 a year for our organization right here in the community is what we'd end up having to pay sales tax-wise for the amount of food we buy," said Frank Richards, Second Harvest of South Georgia CEO.

He says that's literally millions of meals that could feed children through the Kids Café and other programs.

Losing the sales tax exemption could mean a dramatic cut in their services according to the food bank. Second Harvest of South Georgia is encouraging people in the community to contact their legislators and let them know the importance of the program.

"Our soft economy is becoming a hard economy very quick," said Richards.

Second Harvest has appealed to state legislators and turned to the media to get the word out.

"Each year we're given an $8 million grant to purchase food throughout the state," said Richards. "So you can imagine the amount of sales tax paid on $8 million."

He says individual giving is still firm, but much of the food has to be purchased. The amount of food they're putting out in the community is up.

"We're up 34 percent at the end of February and now were up in the 40s as far as food. Local church budgets that get food from us are hurting as well," said Richards.

The food bank says they're confident state legislators will work hard so that sales tax breaks can be saved.

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