We could win a grant from Walmart to help end child hunger in New Mexico
September 15—October 5, your daily vote could earn Roadrunner Food Bank $45,000. In addition, three of our partner agencies—the Rio Grande Food Project, The Storehouse and the Holy Family St. Vincent de Paul’s program—will also receive $5,000 each if we win!
Walmart’s “Fight Hunger, Spark Change” Campaign will award grants to the fifty food banks in the nation that receive the most votes. Your daily vote will help us ensure that New Mexico gets the funding we need. Our state is number one for child hunger, and this grant will help us work to change that!
The Food Bank will use the grant to help fund our Childhood Hunger Initiative (CHI), which is providing better access to food for hungry children and their families. With CHI, we distribute food through partnerships with schools in a variety of ways. We offer a combination of monthly farmers-market-style mobile food pantries, school-based pantries, and weekend backpacks for situations where the family has no means of cooking. This program is allowing us to get more fresh food into hungry households, and through CHI, we expect to double or triple the amount of food we were distributing with our former Food For Kids backpack-only program.
Votes can only be cast online, and you need to have a Facebook account to participate.
Here’s how to vote:
1) Visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger
2) Invite your family, friends and colleagues to vote, too!
3) You can vote once in each 24-hour period, so visit the site tomorrow and vote AGAIN!
Meet Hungry Kate With a Belly Ache
Kate is a smart child and she wants to do well in school, but she faces an obstacle that is preventing her from learning all that she can — Kate is hungry.
Childhood hunger is an extremely serious problem in New Mexico. One in three children is growing up hungry.
Our belief is if you feed a hungry family, you feed a hungry child. Our new Childhood Hunger Initiative is bringing our school partners a combination of mobile pantries, school based pantries and backpacks filled with food to help families and children like Kate’s.
Learn more about her by viewing her story below. Won’t you help children just like Kate?
We hope you will be inspired to help children and families like hers with the gift of food. To give online, click here.
Get in on the Action – Join our #OrangeCarpetCrew
Roadrunner Food Bank is joining with our national organization, Feeding America, all September long for Hunger Action Month, encouraging everyone in our community to help us solve hunger. Join Roadrunner Food Bank’s #OrangeCarpetCrew and raise awareness about hunger and its solutions! You can participate by volunteering, giving or taking action on social media.
- Download the 30 Ways in 30 Days Calendar and take action daily. Hang the calendar up in your office or favorite coffee shop!
- GO ORANGE! Hunger Action Day is Thursday, September 4. Take a selfie sporting your best orange attire and post it with hashtags #HungerAction and #OrangeCarpetCrew
- Use Feeding America’s Social Media App
- Turn your social media sites orange
- Spread the word about hunger right in our neighborhoods
- Ask your elected officials to visit our Childhood Hunger Initiative schools
- Pledge your support for improved child nutrition programs
- Text RRFB to 20222 to make a one-time $10 donation.
- Meet Hungry Kate and share her two-minute video
Together, We Can Solve Hunger, but we need your help! A few simple actions can make a difference!
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
We are encouraging our staff at the Food Bank, our corporate partners, and everyone in the community to take small steps toward healthy living, while also helping solve hunger. 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, nutritious 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.
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.