News - Kentucky Farm Bureau celebrates "Food Check-Out Week"
- February 20, 2012
Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) leaders across the state are celebrating national “Food Check-Out Week” February 19-25 to mark the time of year when the average American has earned enough income to meet his or her annual cost of food. Despite recent challenges in the economy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans spend just 10 percent of their disposable income on food each year.
“Kentucky’s farmers work year-round to make sure we enjoy some of the safest, most abundant and certainly the most affordable food in all the world,” said KFB president Mark Haney. “That’s a great thing to celebrate any time of the year.”
While food prices are not completely exempt from changes in our nation’s economy, the cost of food is not nearly as cumbersome as many other expenses. The average American earns enough to pay for his or her annual food costs by the seventh week of the year, but, according to research conducted by the Tax Foundation, that same person would have to work for 102 days (or until approximately the middle of April) to earn enough to pay for annual taxes.
“We work significantly longer to pay for federal taxes than for our food,” noted Haney. “Food Check-Out Day is a good reminder of the affordability, quantity and quality of the food that our farmers bring to market.”
“Food Check-Out Week” planners kept the nation’s fluctuating economic conditions in mind as they themed this year’s event, “Stretching Your Grocery Dollar With Healthy, Nutritious Food.” As Farm Bureau volunteers in Kentucky and across the country get set to stage supermarket demonstration stations for consumers, their primary goal is to help shoppers increase their knowledge of how to stay on a budget while purchasing healthy food for their families.
“We want to help people in these tough economic times be able to buy lots of good, nutritious food and still stay within budget,” said Terry Gilbert, chair of the American Farm Bureau (AFBF) Women’s Leadership Committee and KFB board member. “While we’re engaging with people and talking about the food the purchase, we’re also talking with them about what we do on our own farms and why we do it. We’re there to honestly answer any questions or concerns they have about what we do to grow fruits and vegetables or raise our livestock.”
“The whole thing is a great way of opening the door to a conversation that puts a face on agriculture,” concluded Gilbert.
Additional information on the history of Food Check-Out Week is available on the AFBF website.