American farmers and ranchers are celebrating their annual Food Check-Out Week, marking the fact that most Americans have already earned enough money to pay for all the food they eat for the whole year.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which organises the event, it now takes just 36 days, or five weeks, for the average American to reach this point. That compares with the 53 days of earning it takes to cover health and medical care, 62 days for housing costs and 77 days to meet all federal taxes.
“Our nation’s food supply is the most affordable in the world, with consumers typically spending just 10% of their annual disposable income on food,” said an AFBF statement. Government figures show that 50 years ago the figure was 18%, while in the “Great Depression” of the early 1930s, 25% of income went on food.
Food Check-Out Week was started in 1998. As part of the celebration, AFBF members make food and cash donations to Ronald McDonald House Charities, to provide nutritious food to children and their families facing medical crises. Since its inception, $2.3m (£1.15m) has been donated.