Senior Hunger Initiative (SHI) in Las Cruces

Here in Las Cruces, May has been a very exciting month! On May 6th, we had our first SHI (Senior Hunger Initiative) distribution here in Dona Ana County. This distribution was one of three SHI sites that will be in Dona Ana County soon. This particular SHI is located at one of the senior homes in Las Cruces.

The Senior Hunger Initiative in Dona Ana County has two additional sites that are set to begin distribution soon. Since 19% of the people in Dona Ana County that Roadrunner distributes to are seniors, I am excited about a program like SHI which specifically targets this vulnerable population.

Over 3,250 pounds of food were distributed among 65 senior households at the senior center. It was a mobile food pantry distribution, where the Roadrunner truck came in and dropped off food and then the site worked to get the food out to their seniors right away.

I went to their first distribution to help as needed and when I arrived they were ready to go! They had arranged their tables to hold the food, figured out how much each person would get, and had plenty of volunteers. The preparation that touched me the most was that they had set up chairs up and down the hallway so their seniors wouldn’t need to stand and wait but could instead relax with coffee and wait comfortably. The coordinator of this senior site treated all the residents like family and with such care and concern.

The distribution itself felt like a farmer’s market, with each senior resident provided a volunteer who pushed their cart. Everyone was so nice, food itself abounding. I was lucky enough to meet a 98-year-old woman who was as kind as could be. Many of the seniors came up to say thank you to Roadrunner and how the food meant so much to them.

As more than 30,000 seniors face hunger across New Mexico and 1 in 12 seniors confront hunger nationwide, programs such as SHI will continue to be in demand. At the same time, this also means we at Roadrunner are more than motivated to continue meeting the needs of our hungry neighbors across all ages.

To support our ongoing food programs including SHI, consider donating food or starting an Online Food Drive with family, friends, coworkers, your faith community, and others with us at Roadrunner. Thank you all for making the work we do possible!

Amanda Cuba is the Community Programs Manager for Roadrunner’s Southern Branch offices in Las Cruces, New Mexico. To share your thoughts on this blog post, you can comment directly below or share on our Facebook page.

Photo taken by Matthew “Matt” Young, from Villa Nueva Senior Apartments Senior Hunger Initiative-Mobile Food Pantry (SHI-MFP), Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 2015.

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