(Nov. 3) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The president is behind it. Both houses of Congress have endorsed it.

Now, the Charity Aid Recovery and Empowerment Act of 2003, which would provide hunger-relief assistance to food banks nationwide, is headed for conference committee.

No date on that has been announced, according to the Washington-based American Farm Bureau Federation and America’s Second Harvest, which are promoting the bill.

The act provides incentives for farmers and ranchers to deduct the costs of food donated to hunger-relief charities, regardless of how their farming business is organized, and also would add an estimated 878 million meals to food banks over the next 10 years, the two organizations said in a news release.

President Bush has endorsed the legislation and included it in his 2003 and 2004 budget recommendations.