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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - January 27, 2008 - February 3, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Food Check-Out Week coming Feb. 3-9
Houston County Courier - February 2008

Thirty-six days.

That’s how long the average American has to work in order to afford a year’s supply of food, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

And that’s exactly what farmers across the Lone Star State will be gathering to celebrate this year during the annual Food Check-Out Week activities, planned Feb. 3-9.

That 36th day of the year falls on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and according to the USDA, earning up to then accounts for just 9.9 percent of the average American’s personal disposable income.

“That’s a drop in the bucket when you consider the rising cost of everything else the average family faces today,” said Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke.

Americans will have to work 77 days to pay their federal taxes, 62 days to pay for housing and household operation, and 52 days for health/medical care, Dierschke said.

A year’s worth of food in the United States even rings in cheaper than what folks put in their gas tanks.

A recent Oil Price Information Services (OPIS) study found that fuel costs now account for as much as 13 percent of the average disposable income.

 “That’s a true testament to ingenuity and efficiency of our farmers and ranchers all across this country,” Dierschke said. “Thanks to their innovations, everyone in America can enjoy the best possible foods at the lowest costs in the world.”

The same can’t be said for other countries. Shoppers in Japan pay 14 percent of their incomes for food, and the price just soars as you make your way across the globe: Israel, 20 percent; China, 26 percent; Philippines, 38 percent; and Indonesia, 55 percent.

County and state farm bureaus will be holding Food Check-Out events throughout the week. Some events include donating food and money to Ronald McDonald House and other food charities. 

Among other events are “farmer’s share” breakfasts or lunches for the public that are based on what the farmer receives for the raw product—just pennies on the dollar. 

“This week should hold meaning for most Americans,” Dierschke said.

“We are concerned that some Americans cannot afford to buy the food they need.  We hope to address some of that need with our Food Check-Out Week activities.”


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