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FoodChange Opens Free Tax Preparation Sites Citywide

Bloomberg Boasts That "Services Will Bring More Than $1.5 Billion Into New York City"

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 01/25/06 -- FoodChange, a New York City-based nonprofit organization, announced the successful opening of its 11 free tax preparation sites across the five boroughs. For the fifth consecutive year, FoodChange will offer free tax preparation services to qualifying New Yorkers.

FoodChange operates the largest free tax preparation program in the country and helps low-income Yorkers claim The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the largest anti-poverty program in the country, which provides billions of dollars annually to low-income wage earners. FoodChange is expected to file more than 40,000 tax returns this year. Last year, FoodChange prepared nearly 37,000 returns and secured $75 million in tax refunds. It accounted for 73% of all free tax returns prepared in the New York area.

"We're excited to kick off the 2006 tax season," said Steven Lee, FoodChange's Director, Income Policy. "Our goal this year is to reach out to the 200,000 New Yorkers eligible for the EITC who don't claim the credit, and put extra tax dollars into the hands of hard-working New Yorkers."

To be eligible for FoodChange's free tax preparation services, a person must have earned $40,000 or less in 2005 with dependents, or $20,000 or less with no dependents. FoodChange's tax preparation sites are located in all five boroughs and are easily accessible by public transportation. All the 11 sites have bilingual Spanish-speaking tax preparers and many have tax preparers who speak other foreign languages.

FoodChange works in partnership with hundreds of community-based organizations and government agencies to get the word out. Last week Mayor Bloomberg toured the largest and busiest tax site in the country, FoodChange's Harlem office, stating, "New York City runs the largest EITC campaign in the country. Nearly 800,000 New Yorkers claimed the EITC in 2004, bringing more than $1.5 billion into our City."

For a complete listing of Free Tax sites, please call 1-866-WAGE-PLUS or 311.

About FoodChange

FoodChange's mission is to improve lives through nutrition, education, and financial empowerment. Founded in 1980, FoodChange provides emergency meals to New York City's hungry children and adults. We help them capture and maximize all the tax and income-supporting benefits to which they are legally entitled.

For more information, visit www.foodchange.org

Contact:
Jennifer Prissel
FoodChange
Phone: (212) 894-8070
Fax: (212) 616-4990

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