Making Room At the Table: Building Mental Health Through Fresh Produce, Part III

To read earlier installments of the “Building Mental Health Through Fresh Produce” series, visit our main blog page.

Granted, the Almas de Amistad study was a small sample size and follow-up studies need to be conducted to verify and replicate these results. Still, the Almas staff believe these results could prove pivotal within the Albuquerque community and beyond.

Amity Foundation has Teaching and Therapeutic Communities in California and Arizona as well as in New Mexico. All of Amity’s projects provide holistic treatment services with an emphasis on nutrition and wellness” said Kena Boeckner. “We are still working with understanding the relationship between healthy food access and overall mental health. Amity Foundation will conduct ongoing data collection and studies regarding this critical issue. We hope with continued nutrition and wellness education and accessible resources through Roadrunner, we can promote improved nutrition and ultimately improved mental health. We hope our efforts will provide an incentive to other agencies to document and quantify such relationships among their groups.”

We at Roadrunner are more than excited, honored, and humbled to realize that the food we rescue and distribute for our partner agencies makes for not just physically stronger families and communities, but mentally stronger families and communities, too. With such support from community action agencies like Amity Foundation’s Almas de Amistad, we have unprecedented potential to not only work as a food bank but as a community health hub, too. Bit by bit, we are starting to make room at the table for all of our New Mexico neighbors.

Thanks to the entire staff at Amity Foundation’s Almas de Amistad, and the women of the Almas community for opening their doors to us at Roadrunner and for exemplifying quality public health work. Thanks to all of our food rescue partners who make possible such impactful, sizable access to fresh produce for our clients across New Mexico. Thanks to all of you across our greater community who make what we do possible, serving 70,000 people each week and last year distributing more than 30 million pounds of food!

Matthew “Matt” Young is the Communications Coordinator at Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico. To comment on this or other blog features, you can comment directly below; call Matthew at (505) 349-8845; or e-mail Matthew at

Photo from L-R of Valerie Gurule (Administrative Assistant), Valerie Gonzales (Clinical Supervistor/Senior Counselor), & Kena Boeckner (Benefits & Outreach Coordinator) from Almas de Amistad-Amity Foundation. Photo taken by Matthew “Matt” Young, June 2015.




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