Maine Eyes Creation Of Hunger-Fighting Tax Checkoff Program

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine might create a new checkoff program to help fight hunger in the state.

Democratic Rep. Mo Terry proposed the creation of a voluntary checkoff box for hunger prevention on Maine income tax forms. The checkoff boxes allow taxpayers to contribute to charitable organizations if they so desire.

The proposal received funding approval in early July from the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. The proposal would establish the Emergency Food Assistance Program Fund.

Nearly 14% of Maine households faced food insecurity before the pandemic, Terry said. That is more than the national average of about 12%.

Terry said the new program "provides a way for more of our neighbors experiencing food insecurity to access meals without all of the added stress and fear often associated with asking for help.”