Food Bank’s Tax Assistance Program has put more than $1.3 billion back into the pockets of hardworking New Yorkers over the past twenty years.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 14, 2022 – Food Bank For New York City received a $70,000 grant for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program which will help New Yorkers earning less than $60,000 file their taxes with IRS-certified volunteers. For more than two decades, more than $1.3 billion in tax return filings have been reinvested into the communities and neighbors served by Food Bank. In 2022, the organization filed 17,925 returns, representing approximately 48,000 New Yorkers.
Over the past 20 years, Food Bank has prepared more than 810,000 tax returns. Not only do low-income tax filers who partner with Food Bank avoid tax preparation fees, they also save an additional average of $450. Food Bank’s VITA program works to ensure that all families and individuals receive the refunds and credits to which they are entitled, including Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), tax credits for seniors or those with disabilities, and credits and deductions for making IRA and retirement plan contributions. Those eligible are automatically connected to other financial empowerment programs at Food Bank, including free SNAP enrollment, financial coaching, and banking services.
“Over the next several months, Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation will provide substantial support to Food Bank’s efforts to recruit and train hundreds of volunteers who will help New Yorkers complete their free tax returns,” said Zac Hall, Senior Vice President of Programs at Food Bank For New York City. “As we look ahead and put plans in place, we know high inflation rates are already driving many more New Yorkers to pantry lines—we expect to see more and more of our neighbors relying on our VITA program—and we’re eager to get started in January 2023.”
As of last year, Food Bank returned $35 million in the form of refund checks; often times tax refunds are the single largest check a family or individual receives in a year and this can make a huge impact especially for those who are food insecure. This includes over 9.3 million in Earn Income Credit (EITC) and $5.7 million in Child Tax Credit (CTC). Through this grant, Intuit hopes to continue assisting and expanding tax service opportunities for individuals in New York City. Intuit looks to continue forming innovative efforts along with Food Bank For New York City allowing access and opportunities to those who need it whether that be in person or remotely.
About Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City is the largest hunger relief organization of the city fighting food insecurity on the ground since 1983. By partnering with over 800 soup kitchens, food pantries, and campus partners across the five boroughs, Food Bank is able to make a direct impact in the communities that need it most, providing some 1.4 billion meals to New Yorkers since its founding. But food alone can’t solve hunger. That’s why Food Bank employs a two-prong approach of Community Nourishment programming (to provide immediate and reliable access to food today) with Economic Empowerment programming (to equip people with the tools they need to achieve food security into tomorrow and beyond). All of these services – from grab-and-go pantry bags to hot meals, tax filing assistance, SNAP enrollment, nutrition education, and financial empowerment workshops – are free and available to anyone who needs them. To learn more about Food Bank’s mission to dignify, nourish, and empower ALL New Yorkers facing food insecurity, visit foodbanknyc.org.
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