A state senator pushing legislation to expand a tax credit to soup kitchens says Missouri has a serious problem with homelessness.

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis)

Under current Missouri law, taxpayers can receive a tax credit up to $2,500 for food or cash donated to a local food pantry in the taxpayer’s “area of residence”.

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s (D-St. Louis) legislation expands that.

“This bill would expand the tax credits to include food or cash donations to local soup kitchens or local homeless shelters as well,” Nasheed says.

Senator Nasheed testified Tuesday in Jefferson City, before the Missouri House General Laws Committee.

“We have a very serious problem with homelessness, not just in the city of St. Louis but throughout the state of Missouri,” Nasheed testifies. “And this is the least we can do is allow for this tax credit, that we already have on the books, to be expanded.”

Bill supporters say Missouri ranks second in the nation in hunger.

Empower Missouri Executive Director Jeanette Mott Oxford, a former state lawmaker, testified for the bill on Tuesday.

Mott Oxford says Missouri is also seventh in the nation in “food insecurity.”

Nasheed tells State Rep. Peter Merideth (D-St. Louis) that the bill would be capped at $1.7 million.

No one testified against the bill, during the House General Laws Committee hearing. The committee did not vote on the bill on Tuesday.

The Missouri Senate has approved Nasheed’s bill 32-0.