MEMBER OF THE
AMERICAN FARM
BUREAU FEDERATION

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Agricultural News and Information

Greg Gibson, Coordinator
Public Relations / Multimedia
1-800-227-8244 ext. 4154
or 601-977-4154
email: ggibson@msfb.org

February 18, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Food Check-Out Week to be celebrated February 21-27

With economic concerns looming large in the minds of most Americans, the average cost of food continues to remain affordable overall. According to the most recent information from the Agriculture Department’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service, American families and individuals spend, on average, about 10 percent of their disposable personal income for food, much less than many other nations.

”Not only is America’s food supply among the world’s safest, it is the most affordable,” said David Waide, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau. “The abundant, affordable and safe domestic food supply produced by America’s farmers and ranchers is responsible, at least in part, for our nation’s high standard of living.”

Waide said the food we enjoy as consumers is a product of our successful food production and distribution system, as well as America’s farmers and ranchers continuing to have access to effective and affordable crop protection tools.

This week should hold meaning for most Americans, he said. “We remain concerned that some Americans cannot afford to buy the food they need, but we are proud of the role Mississippi farmers play in producing the most affordable food in the world.”

The percent of disposable personal income spent for food has declined over the last 35 years. In 1970, Americans spent about 13% of their disposable income to pay for their food supply for the year. According to USDA, food is more affordable today due to a widening gap between growth in per-capita incomes and the amount of money spent for food.

This overall decrease is made more notable by trends indicating Americans are buying more expensive convenience foods, as well as more food away from home.

Food Check-Out Week tracks the amount of income needed by Americans to purchase food on an annual basis, Waide said. “There have been some slight fluctuations over the past few years, but food prices have remained relatively stable over time.”

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The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm organization with more than 209,000 member-families statewide.  There are Farm Bureaus in all 82 counties in Mississippi where agriculture comprises a fundamental part of Mississippi 's economy.  Headquartered in Jackson , the federation is an independent, non-profit agricultural organization and is not associated with any arm of the government.  For more information about Farm Bureau, visit our website at www.msfb.com.

© 2007 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation