Bipartisan Coalition Introduces Bill to Encourage Wild Game Donations to Food-based Charities
Washington, D.C – In an effort to combat chronic hunger across the nation, a bipartisan coalition led by Congressman Don Young has introduced H.R. 461, the Wild Game Donation Act of 2015, to provide hunters with charitable deductions for the costs associated with donating processed deer, moose, and other wild game meats to food-based charities. In addition, the legislation would allow game processors who participate in the program to pass savings on to local food-based charities through tax-deductions of their own.
H.R. 461, introduced by Representatives Don Young (R-AK), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Mike Kelly (R-PA), and Mike Thompson (D-CA), has received widespread support by hunter advocates and wildlife conservation groups alike, including Feeding America, Safari Club International, the National Rifle Association, and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (see attached).
The Wild Game Donation Act would assist food banks across the nation that struggle to keep up with the increasing demand for food by encouraging hunters to do their part and donate their wild game meat to help feed the hungry. According to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers, 49 million people live in food insecure households. Last year alone, one in seven Americans (roughly 46 million) required assistance from food banks; a figure that includes at least twelve million children and seven million seniors.
Following introduction, the four sponsors of the Wild Game Donation Act of 2015 shared these thoughts:
"With the abundance of wildlife resources in my home state of Alaska, it’s truly disappointing to know people – especially children – still go hungry. From the pan-handle to the North Slope, more than 100,000 Alaskans don’t know where their next meal will come from. As a former teacher, I understand the impact hunger has on families and growing children. This legislation, which has received bipartisan support from organizations and groups across the country, is a small but critical step in the right direction to solve the greater issue of hunger. I look forward to passing this commonsense bill to provide an added incentive for hunters to donate their game and provide some of the tastiest protein in the world to our food-based charities.” – Representative Don Young (R-AK)
“This common sense bill is a win-win: it provides a tax cut for hunters who donate to food charities, and it helps families in need access fresh, nutritious meat they couldn’t otherwise afford. In New Hampshire, many of our local hunters are already setting an example by taking part in a similar program, so I was proud to partner with Rep. Don Young to introduce this bill, in the hopes that it will encourage more hunters from across the country to consider donating game to help feed hungry families in their local communities.” – Representative Ann Kuster (D-NH)
“This commonsense legislation is anti-hunger, pro-hunter, and pro-helping Americans. Right now there are more than 46 million Americans relying on food banks each year, including 1.8 million Pennsylvanians, along with an ever-increasing demand for food by food-based charities. In Western Pennsylvania and across America, countless hunters are ready to donate their game to those in need. After all, hunting for food is as old an American tradition as helping our fellow citizens. It just makes sense to encourage those who hunt to help those who hunger and to make it as safe and easy as possible.” – Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA)
“Hunger is a very real and persistent problem that impacts families, children and seniors in all corners of our country. This important, bipartisan legislation will help increase the amount of meat donated by hunters to charities, putting food on the plates of millions of Americans. As a longtime sportsman, I am proud to support this bill with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle.” - Representative Mike Thompson(D-CA)
H.R. 461 requires all animals be killed in accordance with state and local laws and by the individual making the charitable contribution. To date, Congressman Don Young’s legislation has been cosponsored by 32 members of the House, including Anne Kuster (NH), Mike Kelly (PA), Mike Thompson (CA), Dan Benishek (MI), John Carter (TX), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Tom Cole (OK), Paul Cook (CA), Susan DelBene (WA), Renee Ellmers (NC), Blake Farenthold (TX), Stephen Fincher (TN), Kay Granger (TX), Richard Hanna (NY), Richard Hudson (NC), Walter B. Jones (NC), David Loebsack (IA), Tom Marino (PA), Jeff Miller (FL), Randy Neugebauer (TX), Richard Nolan (MN), Richard Nugent (FL), Alan Nunnelee (MS), Steve Pearce (NM), Collin Peterson (MN), Ted Poe (TX), Pete Sessions (TX), Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA), Tim Walz (MN), Randy Weber (TX), Peter Welch (VT), Bruce Westerman (AR).