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March 7, 2008
3rd Annual Food Check-Out Day Race Held
For Immediate Release
Augusta, Maine, March 4, 2008 –
Snow may have caused several postponements of the 3rd Annual Food Check-Out Day Grocery Cart Race to Support the Ronald MacDonald Houses of Maine, but it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of those participating in the race. Food is more affordable in America than anywhere else in the world. (In fact, Americans work just 39 days to purchase the yearly food supply for their families.) The race is a way to recognize the efforts of United States farmers and ranchers in providing Americans with a safe, high-quality, economic food supply while at the same time stocking the shelves of the "homes away from home" the Ronald MacDonald Houses offer families of seriously ill/injured children.
The Augusta Wal-Mart hosted the race, which found two teams of legislators trying to outdo each other to come up with the greatest number of different Maine products as well as the highest overall number of Maine products. The A team featured Senator John Nutting (D), Senator Peter Mills (R), Senator Debra Plowman (R), and Rep. Donald Pilon (D) while the Wildcats included Senator Beth Edmonds (D) - Senate President, Senator Elizabeth Mitchell (D) - Senate Majority Leader, Rep. Kimberly Silsby (D), Rep. Emily Cain (D), Rep. Deborah Simpson (D), and Lisa Cote - Senate Majority Office. The A Team collected 41 different Maine products and had 139 total Maine products at the end of the 5 minutes. However, the Wildcats collected 66 Maine products and a total of 168 in all. Thus, the Wildcats rose to the occasion and met both challenges presented to them.
After the race, most of the perishable products were returned to the shelves and replaced with nonperishable products that would have a longer shelf life at the Ronald MacDonald Houses of Bangor and Portland. The Augusta and Auburn Wal-Mart Stores split the cost of groceries; thus the Ronald MacDonald Houses of Bangor and Portland had $708.44 worth of groceries to share with the families that use the houses in times of crisis. The Maine Farm Bureau Women's/Agricultural Education Committee organized the race with the assistance of Charles Crosby, Wal-Mart Manager.