CONSUMERS CELEBRATE FOOD CHECK-OUT DAY FEB. 6
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Wednesday will be an important day for American consumers. It's a milestone they pass each year, often without much thought. Feb. 6 is the day that the average American has earned enough money to pay for their food for an entire year.
American families spend, on average, less than 10 percent of their annual disposable income on food. In contrast, it takes 52 days to earn enough to pay for health and medical care, 62 days to pay for housing and 116 days to pay local, state and federal taxes.
"Because American farmers are such good producers, U.S. consumers have the cheapest, most abundant and safest food supply in the world," said Kim Earwood, director of the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Division, which sponsors Food Check-Out Day in Alabama.
The American Farm Bureau Federation began Food Check-Out Day as a way to remind shoppers of the bargains they find in grocery stores each day. As the state affiliate of that organization, the Alabama Farmers Federation is taking the program to the local level.
"Several of the Women's Committees in counties around the state have initiated activities to emphasize Food Check-Out Day," Earwood said. "To mark the event, Farm Bureaus throughout the United States, including Alabama, will make food donations to Ronald McDonald Houses."
Earwood said it's easy to forget what a bargain food is in America.
"By comparison, people in other countries pay far more than we do for food," she said. "People in France spend 15 percent of their disposable income on food. It's 26 percent in China, and in Indonesia, they spend more than half their income for food."
American farmers, on average, provide enough food for 143 people each year. Out of every dollar spent on food, the farmer receives only 19 cents. From that, he or she must pay all of the production costs.
The Alabama Farmers Federation is the state's largest farm organization with 450,000 members.