The National Dairy Council Helps to Nourish New Mexico’s Hungry

At Roadrunner, we are fortunate to have the capacity to leverage resources needed to nourish 70,000 New Mexicans each week. Recently, we found ourselves especially grateful to receive a $10,000 grant from the National Dairy Council (NDC), which allows us to purchase 10 freezer-less refrigerators and 10 chest freezers to share with our hardworking partner agencies! These freezers are helping increase the amount of fresh, healthy perishable food our hungry neighbors need.

With the NDC funding, Roadrunner granted cold storage to 20 agencies because seven of these agencies had no cold storage prior to the grant. Thanks to this funding, these agencies alone have increased their distribution dramatically (e.g. cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, produce). Overall perishable food distribution among our partners has now increased to more than 11,000 pounds per month!

Local agencies receiving the equipment include:

  • Belen Area Food Pantry (Belen) – Now able to distribute 450 more pounds of perishable food per month;
  • Holy Family (Albuquerque) – Now able to distribute 550 more pounds per month among 120 households;
  • NM Veterans Integration Center (Albuquerque) – Now able to distribute 500 more pounds;
  • Rio Rancho SDA (Rio Rancho)– Now able to distribute about 125 pounds;
  • St. Alice (Mountainair) –Now distributes 140 pounds, and;
  • The Storehouse (Albuquerque) – They have been able to increase their perishable food distribution by 5,988 pounds per month.

On a recent visit to Holy Family Parish, we witnessed how much of a change in a few new pieces of equipment can provide more food to hungry people. One of their volunteers, Dora, showed us around the food pantry. Only three of their six refrigerators/freezers are in working condition. At one point, Dora pointed towards a tall metal refrigerator in a pantry side room.

“This one has had to be repaired twice in only a few years,” Dora noted. “We need all the help we can get if we are going to feed +300 households per week.”

Another Holy Family food pantry volunteer, Mike Bennett, reflected on the news of increasing cold storage. “It’s more than helpful, but if we keep seeing these needs increase, we’ll have to be ready to ask for more help with infrastructure. Still, every bit helps to get better quality food, including perishables, onto people’s plates.”

We only hope we can continue distributing “better quality” food to all our clients, whatever the level of need. It’s nothing short of our mission.

Thank you to the National Dairy Council for helping Roadrunner provide critical equipment to our partner agencies. Your generosity helps us provide more quality and healthy food to New Mexico’s hungry.

Matthew Young is the Communications Coordinator at Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico. He finds documenting and sharing out stories of New Mexico’s hungriest people “incredibly honoring, humbling, and rewarding work.”

Mom and boys

The National Dairy Council’s grant will help our partner agencies afford updates to outdated freezers and refrigerators to newer models, thus allowing more perishable foods distributed per month. Photos Courtesy of Food Bank Archives and Matt Young.

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