House Bill 61 passes Delaware House and Senate

June 26, 2017

With the June 30 budget deadline merely days away, some good news came out of Legislative Hall in Dover last week.

After several valiant attempts in the last two sessions of the General Assembly, House Bill 61 finally passed the Delaware House and Senate!

Sponsored by Representative Paul Baumbach and co-sponsored by Senators Bryan Townsend and Brian Pettyjohn, House Bill 61 will add four new check-off donation boxes on the Delaware personal income tax return. Individuals may choose to donate a portion of their tax refund or designate an amount in addition to the tax they owe that will be transferred by the Division of Revenue to one of the following organizations: Food Bank of Delaware, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, or Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County.

Representative Paul Baumbach introduced the original legislation several years ago and says he can’t quite pinpoint what inspired him to initiate the process. He admits, “Perhaps I was looking at my own Delaware income tax return, looking at the schedule with the tax-refund check-off boxes and asked myself why some non-profits made the list and some did not. I looked back over my time in Dover since my 2012 election, and I couldn’t see a justification for the Food Bank of Delaware and for Delaware’s Habitat for Humanity groups to be excluded.”

For Baumbach, adding the Food Bank of Delaware to the list of organizations is an important step to help alleviate food insecurity in the First State.

“Food insecurity is a critical issue, in Delaware, our country, and our entire planet,” he says. “In Delaware, this leads to reduced learning by our children and diminished productivity at our jobs. It can lead families to having to make unfathomable decisions (food or prescription medication or rent?). The Food Bank of Delaware has a central role in boosting food security, and it enables the state government to direct fewer dollars to this necessary function.”

“On behalf of the Food Bank of Delaware and all we serve, thank you to the 149th General Assembly and to Representative Baumbach for helping to pass this important legislation,” says Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “With every dollar donated to the Food Bank of Delaware, we can provide two meals to those in need. We simply could not do what Delaware citizens depend on us to do without a committed community.”

So, when tax season rolls around in 2018, don’t forget to designate a portion of your tax refund to the Food Bank of Delaware by making a simple check mark!

To learn more about how the Food Bank of Delaware addresses food insecurity, please click here.

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