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New Mexico-Veterans Integration Centers: Meeting Veterans’ Needs Year-Round

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, we wanted to take some time to honor those who offer some of the deepest public service in our country: our armed forces and veterans. At Roadrunner, we know all too well the troubled reality for veterans returning from combat, be it in the last few months or decades since their formal service concluded. One in four of the households Roadrunner serves have a family member who qualifies as a veteran. Yet, our organization alone cannot feed this sizable population of our state and why we are beyond grateful for the support of our partner agencies. Partner agencies such as the New Mexico-Veterans Integration Centers.

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The Power of Community During Stamp Out Hunger 2015

What a Stamp Out Hunger food drive day all of you across Albuquerque and Rio Rancho helped us pull off this past Saturday!

Thanks to your more than generous communitywide support, the U.S. Postal Service & National Association of Letter Carriers helped us receive more than 205,000 pounds of food in one day! This means 205,000 additional pounds of food to feed our hungry children, families, and seniors across New Mexico through one of our hungriest times of year, the summer!

As one might imagine, this proved no easy feat in terms of labor time, logistics, or sheer physical force to pull off such numbers within a 24-hour period. More than a few Roadrunner staff, U.S. Postal Service staff, and community volunteers stayed through 9 or 10 pm after starting at 2 pm to finish arranging & loading nonperishable foods. Effectively, a 7 or 8-hour work day.

Nevertheless, in the face of such hours and pounds of food, we remained dedicated to our mission of feeding our hungry neighbors. Stories such as this one we heard on Saturday kept our energy and spirits alike going:

“Thank you and the U.S. Postal Service for connecting food to help those that need assistance!

As a kid, I remember a food bank helping our family when we needed assistance after our home burned. This would be the first of several times when we needed assistance.

For all this and more, I’m sharing out two more boxes of food for Stamp Out Hunger. We cannot stop making a difference in peoples’ lives.

Again, thank you so much for all you do!”

For further words of inspiration and motivation for all of us, United Farm Workers’ co-founder & labor organizer Cesar Chavez once spoke of the power of community drive. Drive more than visible during this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Chavez shared this:

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

Thank you, U.S. Postal Service, the National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, United Way, AFL-CIO, Feeding America, Valpak, Valassis, Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office staff, and all of the supporting businesses, organizations, & volunteers who helped make Stamp Out Hunger 2015 rock for all of us! We’ll be posting more photos from Saturday throughout the week, but wanted to launch it off with a massive THANK YOU! We could not ‪#‎meetneeds without all of you!

Photo Courtesy of Tabatha Bennett, from Five Points Postal Office Substation, Which Received an Estimated 20,000 Pounds of Food on Saturday!

 Matthew Young is the Communications Coordinator at Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico. To share your thoughts on this post or other past ones of his, you can comment below; call him directly at (505) 349-8845; or e-mail him at matthew.young@rrfb.org.


Consider Honoring Your Mom & Roadrunner This Mother’s Day Weekend!

This coming weekend, May 9th-10th, marks an exciting time for Roadrunner! Not only will we facilitate one of our larger food drives of the year this Saturday May 9th with Stamp Out Hunger. On Sunday May 10th, Mother’s Day arrives! Now, you may be asking yourself, “How can I celebrate the work of Roadrunner and my mom in the same weekend?” We would like to help show you how AND to get the most out of your weekend!

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Healthy Hubs – Partnering with Organizations to Increase Health Outcomes

Data shows us that food insecurity and health go hand in hand. Food-insecure individuals are more likely to experience colds, stomach aches and migraines and suffer from generally poorer health than food secure individuals. In 2014, Feeding America conducted the Hunger in America study and found some staggering statistics  about New Mexico’s pantry clients:

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Meet Michael: Vietnam Veteran, Former Client, Always Giving

Meet Michael, a Vietnam-era U.S. Marine Corps veteran and one of our former clients whom we met at the New Mexico Veterans’ Integration Center (VIC) recently. Ten years ago, Michael was living homeless in Albuquerque when VIC first opened its doors.

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Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive 2015: Less Than A Month Away!

In less than a month on Saturday, May 9th, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) joins Roadrunner Food Bank to help Stamp Out Hunger in Albuquerque. Now in its 23rd year, the annual food drive has grown to the largest single-day food drive in the United States, providing food assistance to millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table.

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Rural Childhood Hunger in New Mexico

I am not from New Mexico but have fallen in love with this state. I think what I love most is the people I meet. Well, okay, along with that green chile! So many of the New Mexicans I have met are very kind, generous and want to help each other. It truly makes it a pleasure to work here. Working with Roadrunner Food Bank takes me all over the southern part of the state, and as I am based in the Las Cruces office, I spend a good portion of my time working in rural areas.

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Reduce Your Medication Costs While Helping Hungry New Mexicans!

 The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that one in four U.S. adults don’t fill their prescriptions due to cost.  Our own Hunger in America study shows that roughly 60% of hungry homes are making tough choices and unable to afford both food and medical care at the same time. For that reason, the Food Bank and Watertree Health partnered to bring a FREE prescription drug discount program to anyone in New Mexico.  Hungry families are able to use the FREE discount service and you are too!

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Reimagining An App to Feed the Hungry

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Manzano Day School Students Volunteering to Sort Produce at Roadrunner Food Bank, February 2015, Photo Courtesy of Matthew Young

This article generously comes from one of our partners, Lisa Abeyta, co-founder of the phenomenal mobile technology firm based in Albuquerque (NM), APPCityLife. Lisa examines how civic technology can further the mission of hunger relief with us at Roadrunner. Thanks for letting us share, Lisa!  

When people ask me what we do at APPCityLife, I usually give them the 30-second elevator description: we are making it possible for people anywhere in the world to use our platform and open data information to create solutions and tools which solve problems within their own community.

But what does that actually mean? What does that look like in real life?

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Finding Food Assistance at Farmers’ Markets

  In the spring, farmers markets will reopen across the state, boasting an array of fresh, healthy, sustainably grown products. New Mexicans who attend these markets can purchase nourishing food for themselves and their families, while also supporting local growers and producers.

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