Friday was ' Food Check Out Day'

Friday, February 4th 2005, 11:11 am
By: News On 6

America's farmers and ranchers are the most productive in the world. And members of the farming community say it's because of that bounty, that the average family devotes just 10% of its disposable income to pay for food.

To mark that, farmers are providing something extra Friday for those in need. The News on 6's Heather Lewin has more.

Some shoppers have a grocery list a bit longer than most. Phyllis Holcomb with Oklahoma Farm Bureau: "We need to get some jam." Every year, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau women go on a supermarket spree and give $1,500 worth of food to charity. It's called "Food Check Out Day."

The idea is to show just how much food most Americans have and to share it with those who don't. "Food in America is affordable. It's cheap, it's plentiful and it's safe." Event organizers say because of the farm industry, food is a bargain. By February the average American has earned enough to pay for the entire year's food supply, but you have to work until mid April to afford paying your taxes.

After their shopping trip, volunteers loaded up the truck and headed to see the smiling faces of the grateful recipients. Phyllis Holcomb: “They need it. There are so many families out there that use the Ronald McDonald houses. There are 240 of them throughout the United States and worldwide and it's all through donations."

Sheila Taylor with the Ronald McDonald House in Tulsa: “The Ronald McDonald house is a home away from home for families with children in crisis and everybody gets together and with donations like this they can cook meals or we have volunteers come in and use the food to cook for the guests."

Last year, the Tulsa Ronald McDonald House served more than 370 Oklahoma families. Since the program began, worldwide it's helped 10 million.

Since 1974 the Ronald McDonald House has provided low or no cost food and shelter for families of children undergoing costly medical treatments far from home.