Help Us Fill Empty Plates
Summer is fun for children, except when they’re hungry.
Hungry children in New Mexico worry about when they’ll get their next meal. They don’t know what it is like to get a full plate of food and feel satisfied after a meal.
In our state, nearly 30% of our children are at-risk of hunger. In fact, New Mexico has the highest rate of childhood hunger according to the 2014 Map the Meal Gap study by Feeding America.
With your help and generosity, the Food Bank is working very hard to help more children and their families. Meet Alissa and her mom, Carmen. Together they visit local food pantries where they receive dairy, pasta, chicken, bread, and cereal as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Alissa wrote to us about the food she receives. She said, “My family REALLY needs this food.”
With your generosity, we are able to supply 500 organizations throughout the state with groceries, staples and fresh produce. Help make summer fun again for hungry children like Alissa.
To give and help fill empty plates, CLICK HERE.
Updated Study Reflects Rise in Hunger in New Mexico
For the second year in a row, New Mexico ranks #1 for childhood hunger. The 2014 release of Map the Meal Gap shows the childhood hunger rate in New Mexico is 29.2% with one in three children growing up hungry. The report shows that more than 150,000 New Mexico children are at risk of hunger.
Melody Wattenbarger, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank said, “This should be a wakeup call for everyone in our state. Until we make sure that our children aren’t going to school hungry, we won’t be able to solve any of the other problems we have. If you look at indicators like our children’s abysmal test scores, health, graduation rates and future wages, childhood hunger underpins them all. Agencies like ours can’t address this issue alone. It’s a statewide problem. It needs a statewide response.”
Over the past four years, Roadrunner Food Bank’s national organization, Feeding America, has released the annual study to measure hunger and the gap of meals by state and county.
New Mexico is fourth in overall hunger among states, tied with Alabama and North Carolina. 18.6% of people in New Mexico are at risk of experiencing hunger in New Mexico overall. Nationwide, the hunger rate is 15.9%.
The annual Map the Meal Gap report also estimates the meal gap by state and county and the food budget shortfall for low-income households. In 2014, the report showed New Mexico’s meal gap is 67,795,200 translating into a food budget shortfall of $175,675,500. The average cost per meal in New Mexico is $2.59 according to the report.
The top five New Mexico counties with the highest rates of hunger overall and for children are below. Luna County ranked as the hungriest county in New Mexico for both children and the overall population:
Luna – 39.7%
Taos – 32.6%
Cibola – 32.4%
McKinley – 32.2%
Luna – 22.9%
McKinley – 22.2%
Cibola – 18.3%
Sierra – 18%
Roosevelt and San Juan – 17.7%
To Map the Meal Gap in any New Mexico County, visit www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap.
Reduce Your Calories and Donate Them to Feed Hungry Families
June is National Employee Wellness Month, and we are encouraging our staff at the Food Bank, our corporate partners, and everyone in the community to take small steps toward healthy living. One easy way to reduce the amount of sugar, fat and calories you eat is with foodtweeks.
foodtweeks is a free app that helps you make smarter food choices while giving back to charity. Discover simple ways to cut calories from your everyday foods and beverages at restaurants, the grocery store and at home. Every time you make a tweek, the calories you saved will be donated to Roadrunner Food Bank.
Start using foodtweeks:
- Download the free foodtweeks app for your Apple or Android devices.
- Enter the promo code: RRFB and every tweek you make will benefit Roadrunner Food Bank.
- Select a food item, choose a tweek and reduce the calories you consume. The number of calories you save will be donated to feed hungry families.
- To double the calorie donation, share your progress on facebook and twitter. And share it with us on the Food Bank’s social media sites, too!
Visit www.foodtweeks.com or your app store for more details.
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!
It’s easy to give to Roadrunner Food Bank with just a click!
Sign up for email communications from Roadrunner Food Bank to learn more about our programs and services, volunteers and clients, partners and donors.
Our e-newsletter provides information about events happening at the Food Bank and in our local community, including opportunities to donate food or volunteer. We also share ways that you can advocate to help solve hunger.
Plus, with @Pay services, you can make a gift to Roadrunner Food Bank directly from your inbox with just two simple clicks. For every dollar donated to the Food Bank, we can provide five meals to hungry people in our state.
Watch a video to learn more about Roadrunner Food Bank, our history, and @Pay here.
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.