Author Archives: Julie Anderson
You might ask yourself what Breaking Bad, ballooning and baseball could possibly have in common. Well, they are all part of the story of how prepared food rescue is feeding the hungry in Albuquerque. While filming the television series Breaking Bad in Albuquerque, actor Bryan Cranston approached Mayor Richard Berry about the idea of rescuing leftover food items from the on-set catering to feed New Mexico’s hungry. Mayor Berry and Ann Lerner of the City of Albuquerque’s Film Office loved the idea! However, because the show was nearing the end of shooting, food from Breaking Bad was never rescued – but the concept had taken hold!
When I first started working as a food sourcer for Roadrunner Food Bank five years ago, we had dedicated food partners even back then. Each week food partners donated their unsaleable food. Some weeks we were more or less depending on the influx of food in the market. (Target stores bring employees to volunteer every year) With passing year since I started, the Food Bank has seen the need growing as food lines and the number of hungry people who needed our services escalated. Between the recession and a struggling economy, more people continue to turn to us and our network of partner agencies to feed their families throughout the month. A majority of the food we supply to hungry people comes from our food partners. Without their generosity, many hungry New Mexicans wouldn’t have food from the Food Bank to count on from month to month.
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.
One of our Food Rescue partners recently told me, “We are in a unique situation. We are able to donate 18,945 pounds of meat, which equals $61,000, because we are blessed, and we want to bless the less fortunate in our community” This quote is from Mario Sanchez, owner of Sunset Foods, in Tome, New Mexico, a manufacturer of beef jerky. I have the privilege of working with New Mexico businesses that donate food to Roadrunner Food Bank. Sunset Foods is one of those companies. They hold a special place in my heart, because as a small business to donate so much meat helps ensure hungry people in our community have protein sources to eat. Essential to the operation of a Food Bank is rescuing food. What is Food Rescue? It is defined as the practice of safely retrieving edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and distributed to those in need. Meat is especially precious. Protein is what we are always trying to get donated, and because of cost the least likely to be donated. At the Food Bank, we find it absolutely wonderful that this small family business started in 1984 takes our message of fighting hunger and feeding hope to heart by giving us unsalable foods for our vulnerable neighbors. We are privileged to receive their generous donation of meat products and pleased to steward their generous gift into the hands of the hungry. At Roadrunner Food Bank we are our proud to call Sunset Foods our partner. Thank you staff of Sunset Foods! Julie Anderson is the Food Rescue Manager at Roadrunner Food Bank. Last year, the Food Rescue program kept 16 million pounds of food out of landfills to distribute to hungry people across the state.