Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Just Around the Corner

Mark your calendar for the nation’s largest single day food drive – Sat., May 10th and take part in helping Stamp Out Hunger!  Help raise important food simply by filling a bag with food and leaving it by your mailbox.

Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect non-perishable food for hunger relief organizations throughout America.

To participate, place a box or a bag filled with non-perishable food near your mailbox before your mail is delivered.  Your letter carrier will pick up any food donations left at mailboxes.  Post office box customers may bring their food donations directly to the nearest post office.

Major partners of the food drive include the National Association of Letter Carriers, the United States Postal Service, Campbell Soup Company, AARP, Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, and so many others!

Check your mail the week of May 5th for a post card to remind you to participate on Sat., May 10th.

Spread the word on social media too!  Enable this feature on your social media sites and Thunderclap will automatically post on Facebook and Twitter a reminder to your followers about the food drive. Or, feel free to share the Food Bank’s posts about the food drive via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Food collected in Albuquerque benefits Roadrunner Food Bank.  A part of the food collected in Las Cruces benefits our Southern Branch and several of our partner agencies.  In May 2013, the Stamp Out Hunger food drive brought in a total of 194,875 pounds of food to both our Albuquerque and Southern NM branches.

  • In the Albuquerque metro area, the community donated 189,492 pounds of food!
  • And great news!  For the first time in 2013, we were able to benefit from a portion of the pounds collected in the Las Cruces area totaling 5,383 pounds of food!

If you would like to volunteer to help sort food at 11 post offices on Sat., May 10th, click here.

For a list of food items needed at the Food Bank, click here.

Thank you for helping, thank you for giving, and thanks for helping spread the word!

Give Grande!

On May 6, 2014, Roadrunner Food Bank is joining more than 300 non-profits in New Mexico and more than 100 other communities throughout the United States for a national day of local giving.  Give Grande New Mexico is our state’s first Day of Giving and is part of a larger campaign called Give Local America.  This partnership allows communities to generate significant funds for causes right in our own backyard.

Everyone can be a philanthropist, right here in New Mexico!  Help us get the word out about May 6.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to share this information with your contacts.

To give on May 6, visit www.givegrandenm.org to see our profile and monitor the leaderboard of gifts made on May 6.

Thanks for giving and thanks for helping our community!

It’s National Volunteer Month

The busy and helpful hands of volunteers make our work lighter. As part of National Volunteer Month, we send our most heartfelt thanks to all and each of our dedicated volunteers for their service.  Last year, the gift of time and talents by our volunteers helped us distribute more than 26 million pounds of food. So many hands sorted produce, filled food boxes, re-packed bulk items in to family and single sized servings, pulled agency orders, and so much more!  Thank you volunteers!

A small army of volunteers, 12,000 unduplicated volunteers, came to our warehouses to help us prep food for distribution.  And other volunteers helped us start our SNAP Outreach Program which educates people in food lines about SNAP benefits (food stamps).  Volunteers go through training, attend food distributions, and talk with people about their ability to potentially qualify for the benefit.  If they have questions during the application process, a volunteer can help them right on site, instantly providing important information about SNAP benefits.

When you look at the total number of hours volunteers provided to the Food Bank and in turn hungry people, it’s absolutely shocking!  Last year, volunteers provided more than 85,000 hours of service!  Wow, what a tremendous gift!  According to independensector.org the value of this wonderful gift totals $1,504,113!

Volunteers, we applaud and thank you for your service!

Throughout the month, you can visit our Facebook page for stories about several of our volunteers.

During National Volunteer Week (April 7-11), the Food Bank honored volunteers who provided more than 200 hours of service in 2013. Thank you and congratulations to our top volunteers!

Terry Dietrick - 587 Hours

Sarah Rowten - 335 Hours

Ken Zoladz – 290 Hours

Dennis Conerty – 272 Hours

Lawrence Medina – 267 Hours

Jim Larsen – 267 Hours

Michael New – 235 Hours

Bill McNeil – 234 Hours

John Adams – 229 Hours

Steve Davis - 213 Hours

Mildred Griffee – 203 Hours

For more information about how to volunteer at the Food Bank, contact Candace Rodriguez at candace.rodriguez@rrfb.org or call 505.349.8837. Happy National Volunteer Month!

Your Outdoor Activities Could Earn Funds for Charity

Get your exercise in and help charity at the same time.

Roadrunner Food Bank’s national organization, Feeding America, is one of several charities that benefits from a program called Charity Miles.  It is a free iPhone and Android app that empowers people to earn money for charity while exercising. When you turn on the app and walk, run or bike you can earn money for charity.  Simply choose one of the app’s featured charities. The app will track the participant’s distance and earn money for their charity of choice.

Bikers earn 10¢ per mile; walkers and runners earn 25¢ per mile.

When you select Feeding America, Roadrunner Food Bank will receive a portion of revenue generated by the Charity Miles app when it is used in New Mexico.

Here are the links to the iPhone or Android app. Test it out today and try it out! Visit www.charitymiles.org for additional details. Post your progress on your own social media sites and the Food Bank’s social media sites too!

Thanks for selecting your miles for Feeding America and in turn Roadrunner Food Bank! Happy Trails!

Updated Study Reflects Rise in Hunger in New Mexico

The annual Map the Meal Gap 2013 study released on June 10 by Feeding America, finds that New Mexico is ranked as the most food insecure state among children in the United States. The 2013 study shows that 30.6% or 156,930 children are experiencing hunger.  Three years ago when the first Map the Meal Gap study was released, New Mexico was at 27.3% for childhood hunger and ranked in 11th place. The state’s ranking for childhood hunger has continued to worsen.

The study also looked at the overall population and its rate of hunger.  The 2013 Map the Meal Gap study also continues to show an increase in hunger among all New Mexicans with 417,780 people or 20.1% of the population who do not always know where they will find their next meal. The latest study shows New Mexico ranked as the 2nd in the nation for hunger.

Melody Wattenbarger, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank said, “The results from this study are appalling. It’s shocking to learn that a third of our children aren’t able to access enough food to eat on a regular basis.  Hunger continues to be a silent issue in our community and more people need to get involved and take action.  We want our children to do better in school, yet they don’t have the meals necessary to fuel their bodies and perform well.”

This is the third year that Feeding America has performed a study to evaluate and map the meal gap by state and county.  The meal gap in New Mexico is 68,109,613 and the overall food budget shortfall is $168,911,840.  The budget shortfall and meal gap of meals is up 20% from just two years ago.

Wattenbarger said, “Hunger is at an all-time high right here in our own state.  All of us should be completely horrified at these latest figures. As a community, more support is clearly essential. Not only do we need to ensure charitable hunger programs have the tools needed to respond, but we also need to appropriately fund and protect federal hunger programs such as SNAP, WIC and others. We can no longer ignore that so many people suffer from hunger.  This shouldn’t be a silent issue any more.”

To Map the Meal Gap in any New Mexico County, visit www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap.

Food Rescue – Keeping Food Out of Landfills

Many of us feel terribly guilty when we have to throw food away, and Americans toss a lot of food annually. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2010 Americans threw away about 33 million tons of food.

But at Roadrunner Food Bank, we and our food industry partners have been rescuing food in Albuquerque and New Mexico for more than 30 years. What does that mean, food rescue? Food rescue is defined as, “the practice of safely retrieving edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and distributing it to those in need. The recovered food is edible, but often not saleable. Products that are past their sell by dates or are imperfect in any way are able to be donated by food industry donors.”

Roadrunner Food Bank’s Food Rescue program picks up unprepared foods weekly at 100 different locations. Food that is picked up as part of the Food Rescue Program includes items such as bakery items, meat, dairy, produce, canned goods and dry goods.

And volunteers are key to executing a successful food rescue program. Once the food arrives at the Food Bank, volunteers sort, label, box or repack food items allowing us to more quickly process and distribute food to partner agencies and through our direct service programs.

Last year, we rescued 19.7 million pounds of food.    We kept it out of landfills and placed it in the hands of the nearly 40,000 people we help every week.

Recently Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA will begin placing an emphasis on food rescue and encouraging Americans to participate.

Learn more about our Food Rescue Program here and see the top food industry donors participating in our Food Rescue Program.

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