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Cut Costs, Not Nutrition During Food Check-Out Week

INDIANAPOLIS, IND., February 23, 2012 – During Food Check-Out Week, which runs this week through Saturday, Feb. 25, farmer and rancher members of many local Farm Bureaus are talking with consumers about how to cut costs while putting nutritious meals on the table for their families.


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“Stretching Your Grocery Dollar With Healthy, Nutritious Food,” the official theme of Farm Bureau’s Food Check-Out Week, reflects the fact that Americans from all walks of life are still experiencing an economic squeeze. Dining out less often and preparing more meals at home are two strategies people are using to cope with the situation.

“A real concern during these difficult economic times is that consumers will turn to less-nutritious foods that lack essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients,” said Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee.

“Tips for better nutrition on a stretched budget, making sense of food labels and understanding USDA’s MyPlate guidelines are among the topics Farm Bureau members plan to talk about with consumers, at supermarket demonstration stations and other venues,” said Gilbert.

In addition, said Gilbert, “Now more than ever, during special observances such as Food Check-Out Week, as they go about their day-to-day routines and through social media, farmers and ranchers are committed to participating in conversations with consumers, to answer the questions they have about food.”

To help commemorate Food Check-Out Week at the national level, Gilbert and the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee today donated $2,500, as well as food, to the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana in Indianapolis. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a “home-away-from-home” for the families of seriously ill children receiving medical treatment at area hospitals.

The Food Check-Out Week connection between Farm Bureau and Ronald McDonald House Charities was forged more than a decade ago. Since the program was initiated in the mid-1990s, Farm Bureau members have donated more than $3 million in food and monetary contributions to Ronald McDonald Houses and other worthwhile charities during Food Check-Out Week.

“Farmers and ranchers remain committed to producing safe, healthy food for consumers,” said Gilbert. “And we do share with consumers many of their concerns about putting nutritious meals on the table on a tight budget.”

Rising energy costs for processing, packaging and transportation are the driving forces behind recent increases in retail food prices, Gilbert noted.

Participating county and state Farm Bureaus will hold similar events throughout Food Check-Out Week. Links to state Farm Bureau websites may be found at: http://www.fb.org/index.php?action=statefbs.

Other Food Check-Out Week events in Indiana this week included Zest ‘n Zing: A Foodie Event for the At-Home Chef, which was held at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center in downtown Indianapolis on Wednesday. The event featured two Indianapolis celebrities, two chefs and two farmers, working in teams to create a unique dish. Proceeds from the cooking competition benefited the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana and Gleaners Food Bank. Zest ‘n Zing was sponsored by AFBF, Indiana Farm Bureau, Syngenta and Farm Credit Services.

The third week of February was selected for Food Check-Out Week as a way to celebrate American food and as a bridge to National Nutrition Month in March.

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Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
tracyg@fb.org
Cyndie Sirekis
(202) 406-3649
cyndies@fb.org