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A Day of Giving Throughout New Mexico – May 6

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. (more…)


Heartfelt Thanks to Our Volunteers

volunteerty14As Volunteer Appreciation Week approaches, I am tasked with finding an appropriate, meaningful and truly heartfelt way of expressing thanks to our volunteers.  Each year I spend countless hours trying to come up with the exact, right words or gift or event that will convey exactly how much their service has meant, how it already has and will continue to change lives.  And each year I fear that I fall short of my own expectations and that we will not be able to convey to our volunteers the impact of their service.

 The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. ~Eric Hoffer

 I recently came across this quote and it resonated with me on many levels.  The more I thought about it the more I wanted to center this  around it because Roadrunner is truly blessed to have each and every one of our volunteers. (more…)


Las Mañanitas

He had told me his name was Tomas.*   He said he wanted more information about food stamps.  I got his name down, but the rest was hard.  He started repeating his name, address, and phone number in a quick succession.  His voice was gravelly and his words were slurred.  I tried my best, but I couldn’t understand him at all.  Later, I found out about his head injury.

I was at a food pantry helping people sign up for SNAP benefits like I’ve done so many times in the past year.  I’ve spoken to all kinds of people in all kinds of situations.  I’ve helped folks fill out the form in Spanish even though my Spanish is very poor.  I’ve gone over the application process sitting on park benches, in the rain, in the hot summer sun, in the winter with snow falling, and, sometimes, in a nice air conditioned office.

I couldn’t recall ever having this much difficulty understanding someone.  His repetition was not helping.  Finally, a man we’ll call Jack stepped in. (more…)


The Ultimate Food Partners

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

(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. (more…)


25th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March

For the past three years Roadrunner Food Bank’s Southern Branch has been the beneficiary of a very large and meaningful food drive event in Southern New Mexico. The Bataan Memorial Death March (www.bataanmarch.com) is a challenging march through White Sands Missile Range in honor of service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II.

On April 9, 1942, tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces and among those seized were members of the 200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard. They were forced to march for days in the scorching heat through the Philippine jungles. Thousands died. Those who survived faced the hardships of a POW camp. Others were wounded or killed when unmarked enemy ships transporting POW’s to Japan were sunk by U.S. air and naval forces. (more…)


At Roadrunner Our Favorite Color is Green

Next week is St. Patrick’s Day and at Roadrunner we’re celebrating by reflecting on what we’ve done during the past year to be more “green.”  Everything we’re doing to save energy, food and therefore money, might surprise you.  We call all of our efforts in this area our Green Initiatives.

2014-03-11 13.09.16

Baler we use daily to prep 284,000 pounds of recyclables in 2013.  Recyclables
include items such as cardboard, plastic, paper, etc
.

By far the biggest thing we do that is “green” is food rescue.  While some of the food that we acquire is brand new, most is food that a retailer or wholesaler doesn’t want to sell to their regular customers.  We say we “rescue” this food because it would otherwise go into landfills if retailers, manufacturers and growers didn’t have us to give it to.

In 2013, we rescued, or facilitated the rescue of, almost 23 million pounds of food.  Next time you are at the Food Bank, we’ll show you what this food looks like.  Most of it is beautiful, fresh, nutritious food.  What we can’t use we compost, which is another Green Initiatives activity.  After feeding people, “food rescue” is probably the most important service we provide because here in America we throw away a shameful 40% ($165 billion’s worth) of all the food we produce. (more…)


New Interfaith Hunger Coalition

On Sunday, February 23, I had the opportunity to meet with the members of the newly formed Interfaith Hunger Coalition.  About 90 people gathered in the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian Church to talk about how communities of faith in Albuquerque and elsewhere in New Mexico can work together to address hunger in our communities. Some of those in the room were pastors and rabbis and others were representatives of agencies like Catholic Charities, but the vast majority were people who sit in the pews, chair mission committees, volunteer at food pantries, work in the community, support community gardens and are involved in many more activities providing direct assistance to people in need. There were also a few children and families and retired individuals who also attended.

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(about 90 people of many faiths attended the first Interfaith Hunger Coalition meeting)

The goal of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition is to create a space for people of faith to offer ideas and proposals on how and where the faith community can focus their efforts to reduce the impact of hunger in New Mexico.  At this meeting, Ruth Hoffman (Lutheran Advocacy Ministry – New Mexico), Nancy Pope (Share our Strength), and I got to spend a few minutes sharing our perspective on the issue of hunger and areas where people and organizations can focus their efforts for maximum impact.  We also had the chance to hear from Tony Pelletier, a member of the Community of Hope, who told us about how he and his wife Julie had personally dealt hunger. (more…)


Your Outdoor Activities Could Earn Funds for Charity

Get your exercise in and help charity at the same time.

Roadrunner Food Bank’s national organization, Feeding America, is one of several charities that benefits from a program called Charity Miles.  It is a free iPhone and Android app that empowers people to earn money for charity while exercising. When you turn on the app and walk, run or bike you can earn money for charity.  Simply choose one of the app’s featured charities. The app will track the participant’s distance and earn money for their charity of choice.

Bikers earn 10¢ per mile; walkers and runners earn 25¢ per mile.

When you select Feeding America, Roadrunner Food Bank will receive a portion of revenue generated by the Charity Miles app when it is used in New Mexico.

Here are the links to the iPhone or Android app. Test it out today and try it out! Visit www.charitymiles.org for additional details. Post your progress on your own social media sites and the Food Bank’s social media sites too!

Thanks for selecting your miles for Feeding America and in turn Roadrunner Food Bank! Happy Trails!


Fun and Easy Way to Feed Hungry People – Create your own Online Food & Fund Drive

Every year hundreds of organizations and individuals join our mission to end hunger in New Mexico by hosting a food & fund drive. In past years, this usually meant lugging a barrel to a store or office or special event and asking customers and co-workers to bring in canned and boxed food to fill up the barrel; then, lugging a heavy barrel back to the Food Bank and waiting days for the results. But in recent years the Food Bank has provided a fun and easy way to host a food & fund drive ONLINE! (more…)


The Neighbors Shoes, a Gym Membership and Food

Roadrunner Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry program will be celebrating its sixth birthday this June 17th and I had the extreme pleasure of working with the program from its start.  Over the years, as the program has matured, we have experienced many changes.  I recall showing up for our first, trial distribution, held at a trailer park sponsored by one of our current partners.  I got down from the truck (who knew I would be riding frequently in 53 foot tractor trailers!) and she asked me how the program ran.  I believe my response was, “Got any ideas?”  Now, almost six years later we went from a single distribution to 100 plus monthly mobile food pantries across our 16 county service area. (more…)


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