This summer, staff of the Food Bank have been attending The Peak’s Free Summer Fun Roadshow event as part of a joint effort to raise food and awareness around the issue of hunger. The Peak has provided their Free Summer Fun Roadshow events along with each site for FREE and asked that attendees bring in non-perishable food donations for the Food Bank. It is an easy way to give, address the growing hunger situation in our state, and enjoy some fun at the same time.
(The Peak offers free admission to family-friendly sites around Albuquerque during the live broadcast of the Jackie, Tony & Donnie morning show.)
In essence, The Peak has worked with many large-scale public venues and opened them up to the community to attend FOR FREE on specific days from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. This week’s stop is at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. On Thursday, July 3rd anyone who arrives between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. will receive admission to the Zoo for FREE. We hope you attend this popular Free Summer Fun Roadshow stop and bring a bag filled with non-perishable food for the Food Bank.
(A family donating bags of food at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium and Botanic Gardens.)
We have witnessed the generosity of people over the course of the events so far. Everyone brings in what they can. One group of children attending a summer program brought in EIGHT huge bags filled with food. And, it arrived to us at a critical time.
(Kamp Rio donating two barrels worth of canned goods.)
The summer tends to be a time of increased hunger and a time when our supply of food is much lower. Less food in our warehouse means we don’t have as much to distribute in communities across the state. It doesn’t mean the need is any less though. In fact, it is much higher during the summer months.
With children out of school during the summer months, many don’t have all the food they need at home. The free and reduced meals low-income children receive during the school year help parents and their children have access to regular meals, but when summer and holidays arrive, stress and worry arrive too. Suddenly more meals in the home are needed without enough of a monthly budget to provide food for everyone in the home. It means kids have less to eat, moms and dads are skipping meals, and the family as a whole is experiencing hunger.
Just a day or so ago, Viola reached out to us for help with food. She is a single mother raising her kids alone. One of her children has special needs. Since she is caring for her child with special needs and younger children, she isn’t able to work. Every precious penny she receives affects their ability to afford food. This month, her child support still hadn’t arrived, and her approval for low-income housing had been stalled.
When she called, she was in tears and frantic. It was about five days before the end of the month and her food stamps had run out. Her pantry was almost empty, and she wasn’t sure she would have enough food to make it until the next month’s food stamps came in. She was very worried about the family’s food situation, and the stress of the child support being late along with the rent coming due, led her to call us.
Viola said, “I’ve never had to call you before, and I’m in dire straits. I just don’t know how I’ll have enough to feed my children for five days without your help. Everything is hitting at once, and I’m panicked, I’m scared.”
The food donated at The Peak’s Free Summer Roadshow events touches the lives of people like Viola and her children. If you are attending, please consider bringing food to give. And if you aren’t able to attend, consider making a gift through our website. Every $1 given allows us to distribute more than FIVE meals.
Thank you for helping us feed hungry families during the hungriest time of year…the summer.
Sonya Warwick is the Communications Officer at Roadrunner Food Bank.