A Short History of the Roadrunner Food Bank, Founded 1980
Roadrunner Food Bank’s founder Rev. Titus Scholl created the food bank in 1980. Rev. Scholl recognized the tremendous poverty and hunger in our community and wanted to do something about it. After creating the Storehouse (a current agency who receives food from Roadrunner), he discovered the world’s first and newly created St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix. He took their idea of a “bank” of food and ran with it.
The concept of a “bank” of food was completely new in the United States at the time, but Rev. Scholl and others who first formed food banks in America were pioneers. They saw firsthand the need in communities and recognized how a food bank could serve as a repository of food and serve agencies and people who needed help with food.
In fact, many food banks in America were founded in the early 1980’s as a response to the growing numbers of hungry people. A national organization was started to create a “bond” among these food banks, and many of the first food bank founders such as Rev. Scholl were instrumental in the sharing of ideas. This new national organization formed and called itself America’s Second Harvest (now known as Feeding America). Roadrunner Food Bank became the 40th member to join this new organization.
But those first few years were difficult. It was a challenge to convince food related companies to donate food. In fact, Rev. Scholl traveled around the country to “source” food, and when food was donated, finding transportation to get the food here to New Mexico proved a challenge.
Stories have been told by existing staff and board members that Rev. Scholl was so passionate about helping the poor and the hungry, that he used his own personal funds to start the food bank. Other stories have circulated stating that some the initial food distributions were done out of the trunk of a car and consisted of corn on the cob. That is why corn is reflected in the Roadrunner Food Bank logo.
In 1981, the Food Bank found its first home. The first warehouse was located on Edith near Gibson at 1420 Edith Boulevard in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Today it is the home of the Albuquerque Community Schools Project.
In 1994/95 the Food Bank moved to its second home at 2645 Baylor SE near the airport. The facility allowed us to grow and expand our food distribution to serve agencies that provide food to the hungry. Also, several direct service programs were started like our former Food for Kids program and our Senior Helpings. These two programs were specifically created to help two vulnerable populations in our community. However, expanded distribution growth was difficult due to limited space in our Baylor home forcing the Food Bank to locate to a third home at 5840 Office Blvd. near Jefferson and Singer.
Within 18 months in the new space, food distribution increased from 15 million pounds in 2008 to 22 million pounds in 2010. The move to the new home was important to respond to increasing food needs by the growing number of hungry people in our state. From 2008 through today, food agencies are continuing to see increased food demand from the community ranging from 20 to 50 percent. As the economy struggles to improve, high unemployment and underemployment continues to affect our state. Lower wages among working families continue to leave them struggling to have enough resources to put food on their table consistently.
The link below opens a PDF document providing a more in depth look at the history of Roadrunner Food Bank.
Events of 1980 – The year Roadrunner Food Bank was founded
- John Lennon was shot and killed
- The price of gas was $1.00
- The #1 movie in 1980 is Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- In 1980, Mount St. Helen erupts