Farm Women Donate to McDonald House
Boise--The Idaho Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee donated food and money to Boise's Ronald McDonald House Monday afternoon.
The committee then unloaded more than 100 pounds of food that will help feed 17 families staying at the facility.
The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to provide a “home away from home” for families of sick a children receiving medical treatment at Saint Lukes Medical Center. Executive Director Mindy Plumlee says several hundred families stayed at the facility in 2015, and its booked just about every week.
“This 19 bedroom house is almost at capacity," said Plumlee. " We need the food and cash and always look forward to seeing the Farm Bureau Women this time of year. We really love it when they cook dinner, it’s a tradition we love.”
The Boise Ronald McDonald House is on Main St. across from St. Luke's Hospital and has provided affordable housing for out-of-town families since 1988.
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 three SUV’s with everything from produce, and canned goods to laundry detergent, all of which are needed desperately by visiting families according Plumlee.
“We're making dinner for the residents of the Ronald McDonald House tonight and we love the chance to help out. It’s a wonderful thing to help the residents while their kids are in the hospital. Through this event and the lunchbag project at the statehouse we get the chance to promote agriculture. Just our presence reminds people that their food comes from farms not grocery stores,” said Chairman Judy Woody.
Before dinner, Chairman Woody presented the House with a check collected from County Farm Bureaus across the state. Director Plumlee was thankful for the help. “We’ll spend it all on food, and things needed to sustain the families during their stay here.”
"This donation came from just about every county in the state,” said Woody, “and what started as a small donation from county to county ended up being a significant amount and we're honored to help out. Our farmers are productive and efficient, people we 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 Bryan Searle "We’re proud of those contributions, but just 22 cents of every dollar we spend on food goes to the farmers who grew it, but 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.