New Mexico Farms Help Solve Hunger & In Big Ways!


New Mexico’s largest food bank is reflecting on a record-setting year, thanks to the amount of fresh, local food donated by farmers in the state.

Through its own programs, as well as those of partner agencies and regional food banks, Roadrunner Food Bank feeds 70,000 New Mexicans a week, totaling approximately 30 million pounds of food distributed annually.

This year, Roadrunner received a record-setting 2.3 million pounds of fresh produce from farms in New Mexico! On top of all that fresh produce, Creamland Dairies donated 120,000 assorted dairy products to Roadrunner.

All of these fresh produce and dairy donations were received via Roadrunner’s Food Rescue Program.  Food rescue – also called food recovery or food salvage – is the practice of retrieving edible food that might otherwise be discarded as waste from places such as grocery stores, markets, growers, food manufacturers and other locations in the food industry.

“More than a million pounds of fresh, local produce and dairy products can go a long way to feed hungry people in New Mexico,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said.  “And it’s out of the kindness of the agricultural community and the good work that Roadrunner does, that these donations came together and went on to help the less fortunate among us.”

Roadrunner’s Food Rescue Program has benefitted from other types of local produce donations in the past including tomatoes, cucumbers, honeydew melons, pumpkins, apples, oranges, potatoes, and more.

Melody Wattenbarger, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank, expressed her gratitude to the farmers for their generosity.

“Produce is an important source of healthy food for hungry New Mexicans,” Wattenbarger said.  “Rescued food helps us provide at-risk people like children, seniors, and families access to healthy food options they may not otherwise be able to afford with their own very limited food budgets.”

People can help Roadrunner secure food to feed hungry New Mexicans by making a monetary contribution at or by texting any dollar amount to 505-933-7732.  For every $1 given to the Food Bank, five meals are distributed to communities across the state.

Furthermore, food and agricultural companies with excess food are invited to donate it by contacting Julie Anderson at or 505-349-8933.  The IRS provides enhanced tax deductions to businesses to encourage donations of wholesome food to Roadrunner and other qualified nonprofit organizations serving those in need.  Food industry donors are protected under federal and state law when food is given in good faith.

Photo (from L-R) of Roadrunner Food Bank President & CEO, Melody Wattenbarger; New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture, Jeff M. Witte; Roadrunner Food Bank Food Rescue Manager-Albuquerque, Julie Anderson; Roadrunner Food Bank Food Rescue Manager-Las Cruces, Rudy Carbajal. Taken December 10th, 2015; Courtesy of Matthew Young.

Sonya Warwick is the Communications Officer at Roadrunner Food Bank. To post your thoughts on this blog feature, you can post comments directly below; e-mail Sonya at ; or call Sonya at (505) 349-8682.



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