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Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

‘Tis the season for generosity and celebration – a time where we’re reminded that little acts of kindness make a big difference. What better way to spread good cheer than by helping those in need and donating to the charities that take care of them. Roadrunner Food Bank is one such charity, working diligently to stretch your charitable gifts. For every dollar donated, the food bank is able to provide 5.1 meals to hungry men, women and children in New Mexico. The food bank will be even more important to our community in 2014, when the level of need is expected to rise. With generous support from many local businesses and their employees, Roadrunner will be able to kick the new year off on the right foot. One great example of a local company taking big steps to help alleviate hunger in New Mexico is Lovelace Health Plan. Lovelace has committed to doubling any new gift to the food bank this holiday season up to $33,000. To put this in perspective, Lovelace’s generosity will make it possible for Roadrunner to distribute up to 168,300 meals. Consider taking advantage of programs like this, where you can help us double the impact to fight hunger and poverty.  What’s great is that your year-end generosity could be the gift that keeps on giving. Not only will you play a major role in feeding hungry people – you may get a tax deduction, too. To help taxpayers plan their year-end giving, the Internal Revenue Service offers the following reminders: Keep good records and receipts. To deduct any charitable donation of money, regardless of amount, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2013 count for 2013. This is true even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2014. Also, checks count for 2013 as long as they are mailed in 2013. Only donations to qualified organizations are tax-deductible. (Roadrunner Food Bank is a qualified organization. You can check the Exempt Organization Select Check, a searchable online database available on IRS.gov, to make sure.) In general, an individual who itemizes deductions may deduct contributions to most charitable organizations up to 50% of his or her adjusted gross income computed without regard to net operating loss carrybacks. Individuals who are age 70 ½ or older can direct their required maximum distribution from IRAs to be paid directly to a qualified charity, reducing their taxable income. (For more information, visit the IRS website.) As you enjoy the holidays and wrap up your business affairs for 2013, please consider including the Food Bank in your end-of-year giving plan. Thousands of hungry people in our state will be more grateful than you will ever know. Annemarie Ciepiela Henton is a volunteer who serves on the Food Bank’s Communications Committee.

A Day of Sun and Fun that Provides 35,000 Meals

Each August, on a usually beautiful sunny day, the New Mexico Grocers Association members converge on Santa Ana Golf Course. The members consist of independent chain grocery stores and companies that our connected to the New Mexico food business. There is lots of fresh air, fun and golf. The wonderful thing about this event is that the proceeds of the tournament go to Roadrunner Food Bank. It couldn’t be more appropriate that New Mexico food companies help feed the less fortunate in the New Mexico. This event has been going on for many years, and each year it grows in participation as well as the proceeds donated from the event. This November Gene Valdez, Executive Director of the New Mexico Grocers Association, and his board presented Roadrunner Food Bank with a check for $7,200. Their hard work and diligent partnership for this event equates to 35,000 meals. More than 250 member companies also donate excess and unsaleable food as part of our Food Rescue Program.  The rescued food last year totaled more 19 million pounds that was picked up by Roadrunner Food Bank for distribution to a network of hundreds of partner agencies including food pantries, shelters and other hunger relief organizations.  Every week the food picked up as part of the Food Rescue program helped nearly 40,000 hungry New Mexicans. Thank you New Mexico Grocers Association and your membership!  We couldn’t do what we do without your generosity, your partnership and the food you provide to us!! Julie Anderson is the Food Rescue Manager at Roadrunner Food Bank.

Ending the Year with a Good Memory with Twice the Impact

As 2013 comes to a close we tend to think back over the year and remember the things that happened in our lives that were the most meaningful.  Often it’s the negative or difficult events that stand out the most.  That’s just human nature because we are hard-wired to be problem solvers I think. I’ve also read (probably in one of the magazines that pile up in our house each month) that for any experience, regardless of its duration, we most strongly remember whatever feeling we had about it during its final minutes.  So for example, if you have a tough workout but end with something that is enjoyable, like a gentle stretch or praise from your trainer, your overall memory of that session is pleasant, even if your muscles were screaming for most of it. Here at Roadrunner Food Bank we have an end-of-year opportunity that will be sure to make your overall memory of 2013 a good one.  Between now and the end of December, Lovelace Health System is helping us double every gift we receive up to $33,000 total.  That means that a donation has twice the normal impact.  If $50 normally allows Roadrunner Food Bank to distribute 250 meals, with Lovelace Health System’s generous help, we can distribute 500 meals, which should make anyone feel pretty good. I can’t think of a better way to end 2013 on a positive note than by helping to feed twice as many hungry people.  I hope you and your family will finish 2013 with the kind of positive events that are destined to become good memories for many years to come. Stephanie Miller is the Director of Development at Roadrunner Food Bank.

Give a Voice to the Working Poor, Call Congress This Holiday Season

We recently hired a gentleman in his 50s to work in our warehouse.  You are probably thinking that is something that happens fairly regularly, and you are correct in thinking that.  What made this hire so special is that the man we hired had not had regular work or a place of his own to live in for many years.  Now that he works for us, he has been able to get his own place, and he is very, very grateful.  We hired him after he worked for us as a temp for a while.  We were able to see first-hand how incredibly reliable and hardworking he is, so we hired him for our first available permanent position. The sad fact is that if we had not known him as a temp, he would simply not have come on our radar.  If he had just applied within a pool of job seekers, we would not have selected him for an interview.  He just doesn’t have the education or experience of many of the other people looking to work for us.  And in passing him over, we would have missed out on a truly amazing employee, and he would have missed his chance for independence, self-reliance and restored self-esteem.  How sad that missed chance would have been for all of us!

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