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.
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…)
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.
(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…)
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!
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…)
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…)
Like we needed another reason to love Chili’s® Grill and Bar: from Feb. 17-20, all Chili’s locations in New Mexico will donate 15% of their net sales to Roadrunner Food Bank as part of their Chili’s Give Back Days for Hunger.
It’s easy to participate – all you have to do is show up and bring your appetite. Be sure you mention why you are there. You can either bring in the flier or mention to your server that you’re there to participate in the Give Back Days for Hunger, and the restaurants will take care of the rest. You’ll leave with a full stomach and a lighter heart. (more…)
We love it when we see our favorite team ranked number one, or our favorite album number one on the charts. But when we hear that New Mexico is ranked second for overall hunger across the United States and ranked number one for childhood hunger, we should be asking what we can do to help. That’s what the Boy Scouts have asked and they are helping during their annual Scouting for Food Drive to collect food for hunger relief agencies across the state.
On Saturday, February 8, Boy Scout troops will be located outside Smith’s grocery stores asking for donations of non-perishable food. In the Albuquerque area, Boy Scouts will be collecting non-perishable food for Roadrunner Food Bank. Or, your local scouting pack or troop may have left a bag with a flier last weekend asking you to leave out a donation of food for pick up by the scouts. Either way, their efforts and time are all making a difference!
It’s so simple to support this effort. As you are shopping for your groceries, pick up a few extra cans of soup, fruit, vegetables or maybe pasta, rice or beans and on your way out of the store, give your extra purchases to the Boy Scout troop stationed right outside the store.
Together the Boy Scouts and those important donations can help provide life-changing meals for hungry people. With the help of these dedicated scouts and your donations, we can change New Mexico’s ranking and help make a difference in a hungry person’s life.
Thanks for taking part and helping Scout for Food!
Jennifer Kemp serves on the Food Bank’s Communications Committee as a volunteer.
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. (more…)
It was a cold December day at the Rio Grande Food Project. The holiday decorations were up in the waiting room. Despite the wind, a good 25-40 person line had formed outside an hour before the food pantry opened.
I was set up in the back at my table with my SNAP applications and pens. Sitting next to me was Don from Safelink. They administer the free government cell phone program.
A young mother came up to my table with her little boy. He was a cute kid about two years old with big brown eyes.
“I need to find out about food stamps and getting a phone” she said. Her little boy played with a toy car patiently and contently while his Mom talked to me.
I started to explain a little bit about the application process and how I could help. (more…)
It’s the season of bowls. The Rose Bowl. The Orange Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl. However, there is only one bowl that results in a win for everyone involved – Roadrunner Food Bank’s Souper Bowl! Finally, at long last, our favorite bowl is here!
This year’s Souper Bowl will be held on Saturday, January 25 and it brings together an amazing assortment of restaurants showcasing their most savory soups and delicious (and decadent) desserts. This year about 45 restaurants will be participating in this event to help raise funds to continue Roadrunner Food Bank’s mission – to feed every hungry person today, seed partnerships that build self-sufficiency for tomorrow, and lead to achieve its vision of permanently ending hunger in New Mexico. (more…)