“It’s all part of the American Farm Bureau's ‘Our Food Link’ program. ‘Our Food Link’ is a year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus use to tell consumers the story of US agriculture,” said Leadership Chair Judy Woody.
This simple snack bag outreach is more important than ever because the average American is now more than three generations removed from the farm. Another startling fact is that American farm and ranch families make up less than 2 percent of the US population today.
The lunch bags handed out today contain healthy snacks for lawmakers and each year the Women Leaders of Farm Bureau provide the bags as part of the Farm Bureau's annual food link program.
The program also has month and day significance. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, on average, American consumers spend 10.9 percent of their disposable income on food -- about 40 days' earnings.
This year the Food link program fell on Feb. 10th. Today marks nearly 40 days it takes the average American to pay for his or her food supply for the year. It also takes Americans 131 days to earn enough money to pay federal, state and local taxes.
“The most amazing trend is that food to continues to take a smaller percentage of the American annual income, and that's the most astonishing aspect of food affordability in America,” said Idaho Farm Bureau Vice President Richard Durrant, who helped carry the snack bags into the Statehouse.
"In these bags, we have all the different commodities we grow in Idaho represented in these healthy snacks," said Women's Leadership member Carol Guthrie of Inkom. “We have a popcorn ball, some beef jerky, milk which was raised in Idaho, not to mention a loaf of bread which represents the wheat industry, apples, honey, mints, and huckleberries."
Ten years ago, Food Link Day would have been marked on Feb. 12. In 1980, it would have fallen on Feb. 18; in 1970, Feb. 20. And in 1960, Food Check-Out Day would have been celebrated on March 4.