“The checkoff plays a key role in educating consumers that American farmers produce the safest food in the world,” said Dunn. “It’s important for consumers to understand the importance of supporting U.S. animal agriculture for continuing to have access to the highest quality meat and dairy.”

The Roanoke Ronald McDonald House in Virginia, the recipient of this year’s Farm Bureau donation, assists families with 9,000 meals annually.

The Facebook page includes information about how the Roanoke House and others help families with seriously ill children. The multi-media fan page includes links to related websites on nutrition, smart grocery shopping strategies and animal agriculture.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with USB and our support of Ronald McDonald House Charities,” said Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. “The Roanoke, Va., House certainly deserves our involvement. They have done an outstanding job of helping families in need on a very limited budget.”

Local and state Farm Bureaus promote the week through grassroots activities. On the national level, the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee will staff sampling stations at supermarkets and distribute educational information to shoppers. The committee also will make cash and food donations to the Ronald McDonald House in Jackson, Miss.

Noting the nearly universal need among consumers to stretch their food dollars in today’s economy, Gilbert and Dunn said that numerous economic studies show that higher retail food prices during the past few years resulted primarily from rising energy costs for processing, packaging and transportation.

For more information on Food Check-Out Week visit: http://www.fb.org/index.php?fuseaction=events.foodweek.