Minnesota Farmer

Mayhem in the grocery

For the second year the Cottonwood County Farm Bureau is celebrating Food Checkout week by turning loose shoppers to wreck mayhem in the grocery store.  For two minutes there were groceries flying off the shelves to benefit the local food shelf as two contestants vied for bragging rights.  So what is Food Checkout Week and what were we doing?

Food Checkout Week is the week that the average consumer has earned enough money to pay for their years worth of food.  This week again falls in February since the average consumer spends about 10% of their income on food.  This contrasts with Tax Freedom Day, that falls in April, when the average American earns enough to pay their taxes for the year.

With the cooperation of our local Hy-Vee store, Citizen Publishing and KDOM Radio we planned a race in which contestants had two minutes to fill a grocery cart for the food shelf.  The contestants got bragging rights only.  The food shelf was the ultimate beneficiary.

Farm Bureau set up a display on agriculture

The radio station interviewed the Hy-Vee manager and myself about the events of the day

The rules.

  • Each runner had 2 minutes to fill their cart.
  • There could be only one of each item in the cart, but different brands or flavors are not considered to be the same.
  • The highest dollar amount wins.
  • Each shopper answered 5 agriculture trivia questions before the race.  For each correct answer they got $1 added to their cart.

The race was timed by the store manager and photographed by several people including the local press.

Jen from the Citizen shopped under the eye of Citizen Editor Trevor.

KDOM's Judy fills her cart as Farm Bureau's Dave films the event.

Sometimes items ended up on the floor and not in the cart.

The dollar amount in each cart was totaled up.

When it was over the total dollars were not even close as KDOM’s Judy put over $350 worth of groceries in her cart.

Hy-Vee manager Dan announces the winner as other employees look on.

In the end KDOM’s shopper won by almost $50.  This is the second win for KDOM.

Part of the food shelf's haul for the day.

Everyone had a good time.  We’re planning to do it again next year.

This event gave us the chance to talk to our consumers about what farmers do and the entire food system.  It was also great that we could have some fun doing it.  Having the support of the local media really helped with the pre-event advertising as both the radio and newspaper were talking up the event.  It was indeed a team effort.


1 Comment so far
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This is an absolutely great idea that needs to be picked up in other areas of our state.

Comment by Minnesota Prairie Roots

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