Monday, February 6, 2012

Food Check-Out Day

Women's Committee Delivers Lunch to Idaho Legislature

Boise--Monday February 9th marks the Idaho Farm Bureau’s annual Food Check Out day at the Idaho Statehouse.

The third week of February is a very symbolic because it marks the number of work days it takes to pay for a year's worth of food for the average Idaho family.

“By February 17th, the average family of four has earned enough money to buy their food for a year,” said Carol Guthrie, President of the Idaho Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee. “Its not until April or May that the same family has earned enough to pay their taxes. Its nutritious and the best bargain in the world.”

The IFBF Women’s Leadership Committee illustrates the point of Food Check-Out day using a simple brown paper bag lunch that they deliver to the Idaho Senate and House to remind lawmakers where their food comes from.

To put Food Check-Out Day into perspective, it takes the average American 77 days to earn enough to pay their federal taxes; 62 days to pay their housing and household operation expenses; 52 days to cover health and medical care costs; 39 days for state and local taxes; and 36 days for recreation, clothing and accessories.

“The lunches are made up of different products that are Idaho grown. We’re talking commodities that are representative of Idaho, things like the potato, dairy products,wheat, fruit and other foods grown here in Idaho,” said Carol Guthrie, of the Idaho Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.

While Americans spend slightly less than 10 percent of their disposable income for food, those figures are considerably higher abroad: Japan, 14 percent; Israel, 20 percent; China, 26 percent; the Philippines, 38 percent; and Indonesia, 55 percent.

USDA says the average American spends about $2,400 on food consumed at home and in restaurants. Farmers get about 22 cents of every dollar spent on food in this country, Wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution.

Back in 1980, farmers received 31 cents of every dollar spent but it took Americans a longer time to pay for it. In 1970, it took American families an extra two weeks to pay for their annual food supply.

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