Monthly Archives: June 2013
The old expression about a rising tide lifting all boats is one that I have admittedly used myself. Sometimes it seems just right, and I throw it into what I am saying. I use it less and less these days because I find that it is less and less true. And in the food bank world that I live in, the old saw is almost universally incorrect. Food banks around the country started in the depths of a very deep recession in the early 1980s. Inflation was rampant. Oil and gas prices were at record highs. Unemployment had climbed and stayed at elevated levels for a long time. Out of this environment, John van Hengel in Phoenix created the idea of rescuing surplus food from food businesses and channeling that food to the growing numbers of hungry people in the country. Incredibly, that idea has since grown into the Feeding America network of food banks, the largest private sector feeding organization in the United States.
“It was me in an empty room with a phone and a computer.” That was Alissa Barnes’s first day on the job at Roadrunner Food Bank. The year was 2008. Alissa was tasked with starting an experimental new program called Mobile Food Pantry. Only a few food banks of around the country had tried it at that time. The concept seemed simple. New Mexico is so big and rural that many people live too far from food pantries to get help with food. There were, and still are, some counties where accessing a grocery store could be a one hour drive. So, if hungry people couldn’t get to a food pantry, then bring the food pantry to the people. The program was so new that the Food Bank was looking for partners. A member of the Pajarito Mesa Community Church of the Nazarene reached out to Roadrunner. He saw the need right on the Pajarito Mesa. His neighbors didn’t have access to roads or even basics such as running water in their homes.
I love to shop, but I’m what you’d call a bargain shopper. I buy things in bulk, buy late in the season, or shop the sale, clearance, and closeout racks. I very rarely pay full price for things, and when I do (sometimes I have no choice) it makes me cringe. I cringe because I know if I would have looked elsewhere or waited it out, I could have paid less for it. Conversely, I get a rush when I find a bargain deal or when I know I saved a ton of money. It’s exhilarating knowing your hard-earned money went as far as it could. This month your hard-earned money can go twice as far too. Through the end of June, every donation received by Roadrunner will be matched by a friend of the Food Bank up to $10,000. This matching campaign is allowing YOU to have twice the impact in the fight against hunger this summer. Please consider making a contribution to Roadrunner Food Bank by the end of the summer. It’ll feel good to know that you are making a difference in the community and that your hard-earned contribution will be doubled! Donna Marlow is the Strategic Giving Manager at Roadrunner Food Bank.