Monday, January 26, 2009

Women's Leadership Committee

The Idaho Farm Bureau's Shirleen Schwediman hands supplies to Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Mindy Plumlee
Farm Women Donate to McDonald House

Boise--The Idaho Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee met at Boise's Ronald McDonald House this afternoon bearing food and gifts to the families of critically ill children. The Farm Bureau Women unloaded more than 200 pounds of food that will help feed the families of 19 families staying at the facility.

The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to provide a “home away from home” for families of sick and injured children receiving medical treatment at Saint Lukes Medical Center in Boise. Executive Director Mindy Plumlee says 539 families spent time at the facility in 2008, and they're booked just about every week.

"This is a 19 bedroom house and we have been at capacity," said Plumlee. "Thats why we welcome the Farm Bureau Women's committee donation and their gracious offer to cook dinner for the House tonight. It means so much to families staying here."

The Ronald McDonald House, located on Main St. near St. Luke's Hospital, started in 1988 and provides affordable alternative housing for out-of-town families with children who require medical treatment.

Built in the early 1900s and purchased by the late J.R. Simplot for the Ronald McDonald Foundation. Families are charged just $10 a night; the balance is paid with public and private donations to the Ronald McDonald house, and any family who is unable to pay the $10 is not turned away.

The Women's Committee filled a Chevy Suburban full of food, and then spent more than a half hour unloading groceries in freezing, frigid temperatures and each member not only carried groceries into the House, but a smile.

“We're not just helping the struggling families but we're on a mission, we want the people of Idaho to know that we have the best, most plentiful and cheapest food supply in the world, we're sharing that good fortune with those who need it, and they need it now.” said Chairwoman Carol Guthrie.
Carol Guthrie also presented the House with a check. The money was collected from County Farm Bureaus across the state. Carol Hagen of Boise’s Ronald McDonald House is thankful for the help. “We’ll spend it all on food, and things needed to sustain the families during their stay here.

Carol Guthrie Chairman of the Women's Leadership Committee present Carol Hagen a check on behalf of Idaho Farm Bureau's County donations to the Ronald McDonald House.

"This donation came from just about every county in the state, and what started as a small donation from county to county ended up being a significant amount and we're honored to help out," said Shirleen Schwediman of Newdale."Our farmers are productive and efficient and they're also people you can depend on."

The event is held annually on the fifth week of the New Year, that’s when most Americans will have earned enough money to pay for their families food supply for the year. By comparison Americans need to work until May to reach "Tax Freedom Day," the date when the typical family meets its tax commitment.

"Americans depend on the safe and affordable food supply we supply." said Idaho Farm Bureau Federation President Frank Priestley. "We’re proud of those contributions, but just 22 cents of every dollar we spend on food goes to the farmers who grew it, yet farmers are a generous bunch and the backbone of this great nation."

According to the Agriculture Department, Americans devote only about 10.6 percent of their disposable income to pay for food. The percentage of income spent for food in the United States has declined over the last 30 years. Food is more affordable today due to a widening gap between growth in per capita incomes and the amount of money spent for food, according to the USDA.

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