Monthly Archives: March 2013
Thanks for asking! We’re a network of five member food banks that provide emergency food support to more than 400 agencies around the state. Our members are: The Community Pantry – Gallup ECHO, Inc. – Farmington The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico – Clovis The Food Depot – Santa Fe Roadrunner Food Bank – with branches in Albuquerque and Las Cruces Each food bank serves a specific area (see the map below), and we work together as an association to maximize our distribution and buying power. Our main program is the Fresh Produce Initiative. The association purchases truck load quantities of fresh produce from around the country and then distributes it out to our member food banks to supplement their other purchased and donated food. That food then goes out to programs in every county in New Mexico to feed the nearly 40,000 New Mexicans who seek food assistance every week.
A wonderful gift is coming to the Food Bank that will allow us to expand our role in helping veterans. Recently, Roadrunner Food Bank was notified of a $40,000 private gift coming from a donor who wants the money to be used to specifically support veterans’ programs throughout the state. The funds could be used for any veterans’ project such as infrastructure to help current programs expand their assistance to veterans, capital improvements to program sites, or as seed money to help jumpstart new programs. Additionally, the gift is not restricted just to agencies currently serving veterans, but any agency expanding services to veterans or wishing to reach veterans. Although the gift sounds like a lot of money, when you consider that it will be available to veterans programs statewide it becomes clear that we have to be judicious in how these funds will be utilized. Recently, the Food Bank hosted a project meeting on March 12, 2013, to begin a discussion on how we can best apply the funds being given.
One afternoon a man walked through the front doors at the Food Bank. My first thought was he came to volunteer or maybe he was dropping off a donation since he seemed like it was his first time at the Food Bank. He shyly approached the front reception desk and didn’t say a word. I welcomed him and asked how I could help. He was silent and unwilling to make eye contact. I stood up from behind the reception desk and walked over to him to ask again if he needed something. Looking down at his hands, he whispered that he needed food. He was barely able to speak, trying to choke back tears. His voice was shaky and he seemed ashamed. He kept looking at his hands and said “This is hard, very hard. I have kids and I can’t feed them.” With nothing better to say I pathetically tried to comfort him by saying, “It’s okay.” He lifted his head and looked me square in the face and replied “No. No it isn’t okay.” In that moment I felt a surge of shame and anger pour over me. Not at him, but with him, for him and his family. He was right, it’s not okay.
Many of us receive tons of email. The dial up tone that used to greet us with, “You’ve Got Mail” no longer says those three words and most of us no longer “dial up” to access our email. Nowadays, we are notified immediately about the barrage of email waiting in our inbox with a ding on our mobile phone or a pop up on our computer. And yes, just like you, my inboxes are full of email and awaiting my attention. Some require a reply and many others are junk that don’t need any action at all (other than sending it to the trash folder). And still other email that I receive have information or content that sparks an interest to read this blog or that blog or read about updates on the latest news or trends happening in my field. How do we decipher through it all and quickly? How do we get at the core of what needs our attention or captures our interest to investigate the content more in depth? That is a tough one, probably for most of us, and from week to week or day to day what captures our attention is different.