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Food Check-Out Week targets healthy eating on a budget


Farm Bureau Board members helped Laura Koehn from Manna House check out at Gene's Heartland Foods in Dodge City, Feb. 23. The group was participating Farm Bureau's Food Check-Out Week. (Courtesy photo.)

With the continuing economic squeeze, many Americans are concerned that the cost of a healthy diet is out of reach. However, according to an U.S. Department of Agriculture study, the cost of eating healthy hasn't changed as much as less-healthy alternatives. Eating healthy food within a budget does require smart shopping.

Farm Bureau's Food Check-Out Week, is devoted to helping teach Americans how to stretch their grocery dollars with healthy, nutritious food. America's farmers and ranchers are committed to producing safe, healthy and abundant food. And they share a common concern with consumers when it comes to putting nutritious meals on the table while sticking to a tight budget.

On Feb. 23, Ford County Farm Bureau Board Members were at Gene's Heartland Foods ready to help three county food banks supply their shelves as part of Food Check-Out Week. Kansas House of Representative Pat George and Farm Bureau Board Members helped Laura Koehn from Manna House; Danual Rincones with Friendship Feast and Beverly Williams and Orlando Jantz from the Bucklin-Ford-Kingsdown Community Food Bank fill their shopping carts with necessary supplies and hearing about the needs of the community. Ford County Farm Bureau Association was happy to put $600 of member's money back into the community by helping to fill the shelves at the food banks so they can continue to help others.

"Fruits and vegetables--along with whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, beans, eggs and nuts--are an important part of a healthy diet. Buying fresh produce when it's in season and costs less, while buying frozen fruits and vegetables when they're not in season, is a smart way to stretch that dollar," says County Coordinator, Sonya Goetz.

Now in its eleventh year, Food Check-Out Week also highlights America's safe, abundant and affordable food supply, made possible largely by America's productive farmers and ranchers. According to the most recent (2007) information from the USDA's Economic Research Service, American families and individuals spend, on average, less than 10 percent of their disposable personal income for food.

Your Ford County Farm Bureau Association consists of President: Rick Konecny, Vice President: Loren Barngrover, Sec./Treas.: Serena Dilley, Women's Chair: Tammy Konecny, Jerry Hager, John Indiek, Tom Schaffer, Rick Heeke and County Coordinator: Sonya Goetz. District Administrator is Dale Maneth and State Board Member is John Stegman.

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