Monthly Archives: November 2012
Roadrunner operates out of a very large facility and has a large fleet of vehicles that it maintains and uses to transport food across New Mexico. These are needed in our fight against hunger but are expensive to maintain. We also greatly value our donations and grant support so we do everything we can to control our costs and stretch those donations further. Over the past few years, we’ve gone after every expense we could. Projects have included: Electric efficiencies in the form of new warehouse lighting and motion sensors throughout the building to keep the lights off when not in use. We changed several of our freezer and cooler doors to high speed which keep the refrigerated air where it belongs. Last, we were lucky enough to receive a donated solar panel which helps to supply some of our electricity needs. We’ve focused on water use reduction both in the building with our clothing washers and by transforming our landscaping away from grass to native plants which should reduce our water usage about approximately 1/3.
As 2012 winds down and we prepare for our end-of year holidays beginning with Thanksgiving, the 2014 Hunger In America hunger study is beginning to gear up. This hunger study will mark my second as New Mexico’s Hunger Study Coordinator, the first was the 2010 Hunger Study that was actually conducted in 2009. What the heck is a Hunger Study? That’s a good question, and many people ask the same thing. There are lots of figures released during the course of a year that seek to measure hunger (food insecurity) in our country. They are the results of government compiled reports and university and foundation studies, etc. But they are just figures, and do not directly connect with hungry people themselves or the locally based hunger relief organizations that fight hunger in their respective communities throughout our state. That’s where this hunger study is different. Commissioned by Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, some 200 food banks around the country will be conducting the 2014 Hunger Study in their service areas. For Roadrunner Food Bank this means the entire state of New Mexico.
I drove to work this morning with my window down, enjoying the crispness of the fall air while sipping on a hot pumpkin spice latte that a total stranger bought for me in the Starbucks drive-through. This small act of kindness made my day. It also got me thinking. There are people right here in my state, in my city, who can’t afford to eat today. There are seniors trying to decide if they should buy their medications or buy groceries. There are parents who are desperately trying to determine how they’ll put food on the table this week. There are children dreading the weekend because they know they won’t be able to eat again until they get to school on Monday. How are seniors supposed to stay healthy if they can’t nourish and protect their bodies? How are parents supposed to get ahead in the workplace if they’re tired and upset all the time? How are children supposed to succeed in school if they are so hungry they can’t concentrate?
Last week I was humbled by generosity. In came in the form of a 7 year old boy named Ty and his mother Jenn. It was the simplest of gestures, but it reminded me of how a gift can have ramifications on us all. An encouraging gesture of what even a 7 year old can do and will do to help the less fortunate, and likely people that he may never meet. Ty is a typical child, but atypical in his generosity. It was Halloween night and rather than going around asking for “Trick or Treats” he and his mother decided to try something different. They asked neighbors to “Trick or Donate” and collected food for the Food Bank instead. He gave up collecting a bag of candy to provide food to hungry people. Little 7 year old Ty thought of the needs of others long before he thought of his own personal wants and desires.