Food Check-Out Week off to a great start

Reported by: Rebecca Rivers
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Updated: 2/20/2013 9:12 am

Food Check-Out Week marks the connection between agriculture producers and food consumers. Farm Bureau is teaming up with United Supermarkets here in Lubbock to donate money and groceries to help feed Ronald McDonald House families.

"We are here to shop for the Ronald McDonald House for 17 families. The Farm Bureau of Lubbock has given us graciously $300 to come and shop for healthy produce," Taylor LoCascio with the Ronald McDonald House said. 

"We're very appreciative of Ronald McDonald House for the outstanding job they do everyday with welcoming families that come in that may have sick kiddos, and providing them a shelter and meals, and an area to rest," Jim Thiel, Farm Bureau President said. 

Taylor LoCascio is the Volunteer Coordinator for Lubbock's Ronald McDonald House and said that making sure their families have plenty of healthy food choices is important and doesn't have to cost a lot.

"A lot of things on our shopping list are fresh fruits and vegetables, a lot of the whole grain cereals and things like that, so we're trying to keep it as fresh as possible," LoCascio said. "Additionally we're going to get lots of eggs today, lots of milk, so we just want to keep it fresh and healthy."

LoCascio shared her list with us and made sure her dollar was being stretched by choosing products that offer protein and energy with as little processing as possible.

"So I think eggs are a great way to support Texas farmers and agriculture," LoCascio said. "And not only that, but I think it's great for our families at the House. Whether they are boiled or they can just throw them on the skillet and make a quick omelet for breakfast, it's a great way to get the healthy fats and the good source of protein for them before they go out to the hospitals."

"Peanut butter is a great way to support West Texas farmers," LoCascio said. "It's a very good source of protein and healthy fats, and it's quick and easy. You can just spread it on a slice of bread and be out the door."

During Food Check-Out Week, Farm Bureau members including many local farmers and ranchers will make a special effort to reach out to consumers to answer questions about the food they grow or the livestock and poultry they raise.

"As consumers in America, we're very fortunate that we can walk into the store such as United and look at the shelves and they're basically always full," Thiel said. "As producers, we understand the responsibility of doing our job to produce fiber, producer, and meat for America."

Although Food Check-Out Week only lasts through Saturday the 23, the Ronald McDonald House needs help all year. And providing that extra help can be as simple as picking up an extra bag of apples while you're out grocery shopping.

"We are almost 100% donation based, so a way that they can help out is they can come to the grocery store and pick out the healthy foods and things like that and just bring them by our House anytime during the day," LoCascio said. 

The Food Check-Out Week connection between Farm Bureau and Ronald McDonald House charities was forged more than a decade ago and has helped raise over $3 million in food and donations since the mid 1990's.

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