Author Archives: Sonya Warwick
Mark May 6 on your calendar! As a way to commemorate 100 years of community foundations and to celebrate giving, hundreds of non-profits are joining together encouraging our New Mexico community to give a gift on the same day…May 6. To make this day a success, we need your help. Please give and help spread the about giving to your networks on social media, email, your website, or texting 10 friends to join you in this special day of giving. Every invitation you make helps spread the word and encourages philanthropy in our community.
Earlier this month, the USDA announced it will provide additional support to hunger relief organizations by purchasing up to $126.4 million worth of produce to be distributed through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) across the United States. The food is supplied to states for distribution through food banks and their network of partner agencies. With the expected influx of produce, USDA Regional Administrator William Ludwig felt it was important to visit states experiencing elevated hunger. Ludwig visited Roadrunner Food Bank on Monday, January 13th. Ludwig oversees 15 federal nutrition assistance programs in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Thanksgiving brings thoughts of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. But for seniors and other hungry people in our state, having ANY food to eat is a blessing. In fact, when our food referral phone line rings off the hook this time of year, it is from callers around the community and state asking for help with regular grocery items from people completely out of food. They are grateful for any help and take whatever food we and our network of agencies are able to provide to them. This year, with some additional funding from the Walmart Foundation, many of our most vulnerable seniors will have access to food programs from Roadrunner Food Bank. The Walmart Foundation provided additional funding this year to increase the number of Senior Helpings sites and senior specific Mobile Food Pantries based in southwestern New Mexico to help low-income seniors.
Last year, was a record year of service thanks to an army of people in our community that give us a precious gift…time. More than 12,200 people volunteered in our warehouse at least once (some two or three times a week) to help us prep food for distribution. Other volunteers helped us in community based activities such as executing our Hunger Study, educating people about SNAP (food stamp benefits) and many other duties that help us in our work. The 12,200 volunteers also contributed a record number of service hours to the Food Bank last year totaling more than 85,000 volunteer hours! We are honored and grateful for every volunteer, and every minute of service provided. Volunteers are the reason we are able to distribute almost 100,000 pounds of food a day, and why we were able to distribute a record number of pounds…26.6 million last year. As volunteers, you are a tremendous resource and there is no way we could distribute the volumes of food our hungry neighbors rely on every day without your gift of service.
Surprise! We are still continuing to inform you, our readers, about how you can get involved in Hunger Action Month. There is just a little more than a week in September to take action. Won’t you take a few daily actions this month to be a part of Hunger Action Month? Local writer and poet Carlos Contreras has! In fact he came up with an entire writing project around Hunger Action Month which he is calling Haiku4Hunger. He is encouraging his students and groups that he works with around Albuquerque to participate in Hunger Action Month by writing. Contreras and other writers in the community are using hash tag #Haiku4Hunger in social media to increase awareness around hunger with the simple act of writing a haiku or story about hunger. The goal is to fill this wall with writings about hunger, eliminating hunger, and by simply taking some type of action this month to take part in Hunger Action Month.