Updated Study Reflects Rise in Hunger in New Mexico
The annual Map the Meal Gap 2013 study released on June 10 by Feeding America, finds that New Mexico is ranked as the most food insecure state among children in the United States. The 2013 study shows that 30.6% or 156,930 children are experiencing hunger. Three years ago when the first Map the Meal Gap study was released, New Mexico was at 27.3% for childhood hunger and ranked in 11th place. The state’s ranking for childhood hunger has continued to worsen.
The study also looked at the overall population and its rate of hunger. The 2013 Map the Meal Gap study also continues to show an increase in hunger among all New Mexicans with 417,780 people or 20.1% of the population who do not always know where they will find their next meal. The latest study shows New Mexico ranked as the 2nd in the nation for hunger.
Melody Wattenbarger, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank said, “The results from this study are appalling. It’s shocking to learn that a third of our children aren’t able to access enough food to eat on a regular basis. Hunger continues to be a silent issue in our community and more people need to get involved and take action. We want our children to do better in school, yet they don’t have the meals necessary to fuel their bodies and perform well.”
This is the third year that Feeding America has performed a study to evaluate and map the meal gap by state and county. The meal gap in New Mexico is 68,109,613 and the overall food budget shortfall is $168,911,840. The budget shortfall and meal gap of meals is up 20% from just two years ago.
Wattenbarger said, “Hunger is at an all-time high right here in our own state. All of us should be completely horrified at these latest figures. As a community, more support is clearly essential. Not only do we need to ensure charitable hunger programs have the tools needed to respond, but we also need to appropriately fund and protect federal hunger programs such as SNAP, WIC and others. We can no longer ignore that so many people suffer from hunger. This shouldn’t be a silent issue any more.”
To Map the Meal Gap in any New Mexico County, visit www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, in partnership with Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), is asking that the public support all rescue, recovery and disaster relief efforts with donations of cash. Donations of items such as clothing and supplies are strongly discouraged.
Financial donations will allow disaster relief agencies to purchase whatever items are deemed necessary without resulting in the additional burden of securing warehouse space and volunteers to work donated product.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to all who were affected by the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank. “The Regional Food Bank is coordinating efforts with other disaster relief agencies to provide food and water for those in need. What we and other disaster relief agencies will need most from the public is financial donations.”
Help our sister Feeding America Food Bank respond to food needs by making a financial gift. Ways to give:
- Online by visiting the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s website – www.regionalfoodbank.org
- Call 405.604.7111 ext. 3.
- Text FOOD to 32333 to give $10 (a one–time donation will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance).
Roadrunner Food Bank has been asked by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to provide a truck load of food. On May 22 and May 23, two tractor trailer loads of food was dispatched to Oklahoma with meals ready to eat. Other Feeding America member food banks in surrounding states are also responding at their request. Roadrunner Food Bank will continue to respond to requests made by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma as the community recovers from the devastating effects of the tornado. Our thoughts are with you Oklahomans.
For more information about our role in national and regional disaster relief efforts, visit here.
A Gift This Summer Helps Twice as Many Children
Your gift today will go twice as far! A loyal friend of the Food Bank has pledged to match every dollar we receive up to $10,000 this summer.
Many children look forward to summer vacation. Twelve-year-old Enrique doesn’t.
He knows summer vacation could mean more than two months of going hungry. When classes are in session, he eats breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria — unfortunately, when school ends, so do these school-subsidized meals.
For families like Enrique’s, being able to buy enough food for two extra meals per day is impossible. His father, Damian, had his work hours reduced from 40 plus overtime to 30, but he still has to commute five days a week. He also has daycare costs for his younger son. He worries about how he can pay the bills and put food on the table.
Damian got in touch with us and we told him about a local program that receives food from the Food Bank where Enrique is able to eat lunch and participate in summer learning and recreation activities.
“Not only is my son getting the nutrition he needs, but this food is also helping to stretch my budget. I can’t thank you enough.”
It’s shocking to think that in New Mexico, 146,940 children are at risk of hunger and one of them is Enrique. Right now, your monthly gift in June, July and August can help children just like Enrique. Help ensure that we have enough food and groceries for those who need it the most.
Help hungry children like Enrique by giving.
Food Rescue – Keeping Food Out of Landfills
Many of us feel terribly guilty when we have to throw food away, and Americans toss a lot of food annually. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2010 Americans threw away about 33 million tons of food.
But at Roadrunner Food Bank, we and our food industry partners have been rescuing food in Albuquerque and New Mexico for more than 30 years. What does that mean, food rescue? Food rescue is defined as, “the practice of safely retrieving edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and distributing it to those in need. The recovered food is edible, but often not saleable. Products that are past their sell by dates or are imperfect in any way are able to be donated by food industry donors.”
Roadrunner Food Bank’s Food Rescue program picks up unprepared foods weekly at 100 different locations. Food that is picked up as part of the Food Rescue Program includes items such as bakery items, meat, dairy, produce, canned goods and dry goods.
And volunteers are key to executing a successful food rescue program. Once the food arrives at the Food Bank, volunteers sort, label, box or repack food items allowing us to more quickly process and distribute food to partner agencies and through our direct service programs.
Last year, we rescued 16.3 million pounds of food. We kept it out of landfills and placed it in the hands of the nearly 40,000 people we help every week.
Recently Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA will begin placing an emphasis on food rescue and encouraging Americans to participate.
Learn more about our Food Rescue Program here and see the top food industry donors participating in our Food Rescue Program.
Charity Miles for the Food Bank
Roadrunner Food Bank’s national organization, Feeding America, is one of 10 charities chosen to pilot Charity Miles, a free iPhone and Android app that empowers people to earn money for charity while walking, running or biking. Participants choose one of the app’s featured charities and hit the streets. The app will track the participant’s distance and earn money for their charity.
Bikers earn 10¢ per mile; walkers and runners earn 25¢ per mile. Feeding America food banks such as Roadrunner Food Bank will receive a portion of revenue generated by the Charity Miles app in New Mexico.
Charity Miles kicked off in mid June 2012. A couple things to note about the program:
- Charity Miles won’t work in a gym type atmosphere
- In New Mexico, all miles walked, biked or ran will go to Roadrunner Food Bank, a member of Feeding America
- Invite others you know to download the Charity Miles app
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!