The Storehouse: One Partner Agency Meeting Needs for Over 50 Years

There are few organizations in New Mexico who have served the food assistance needs of hungry communities as long as our partner agency, the Storehouse at 106 Broadway SE in Albuquerque. For over 50 years, the Storehouse has opened its doors to its clients in need of free food and clothing. During 2013 alone, the Storehouse registered over 80,000 clients for its services.

We visited the Storehouse to see their current set of freezers and refrigerators. The Storehouse is one of 20 of our partner agencies who will be receiving newer refrigerators and freezers the National Dairy Council funded for infrastructure support of Roadrunner Food Bank’s network of hunger partners. According to their in-house estimates, more than 5,900 additional pounds of perishables per month will be able to be distributed once the newer freezers and refrigerators are installed.

“We serve no less than 200 households a day here and in terms of meals, that can come out to over 400 meals’ worth of food a day,” Storehouse officer Anthony Montoya said. “Plus, these numbers continue to grow, so every little bit of storage helps us tremendously.”

While touring the spread of a decades-old warehouse space, Anthony also pointed out to us the row of freezers and refrigerators, indicating that all of them were more than 10 years old.

“One refrigerator is completely broken, and two more refrigerators are hanging on,” Anthony reflected. “Our freezers are holding out, but just look at these lines today.”

The Storehouse opens its doors on Wednesdays, thus giving the atmosphere on a Wednesday morning like a Monday anywhere else. Dozens upon dozens of people streamed in from the plastic flap door entryway, wrapping around a long wooden bench and forming a de facto line. Some had grocery carts ready, others held onto paper and plastic bags.

In this line, there stood Diana. Diana, in her 40’s, told us that she had been coming to the Storehouse for over 15 years. Boom-and-bust jobs over these past 15 years have kept her returning to the Storehouse, Diana mentioned.

“Coming here’s always helpful,” she shared, “and especially when you have three kids.” Diana tries each week to gather enough food to feed her husband, a 16-year-old, a 13-year-old, and a 10-year-old.

When asked what she looks forward to when coming to the Storehouse, she smiled answering, “Breads and sweets. I don’t buy much of them, as they just cost so much elsewhere.” While Diana prioritizes canned vegetables, fruits, and whole grain foods, she said she likes picking up sweet treats for her family.

“Albertson’s proves to be one of our biggest suppliers, but there’s no question that Roadrunner makes meeting our needs all the more possible,” said Amy Chambellan-Lavender, a Grant Writer/Event Coordinator at Adelante Development Center, which is currently helping run the Storehouse.

As we listened to the experiences and stories from Anthony, Amy, Diana, and other people whose lives are now tied to the Storehouse, one observation became strikingly clear. Instead of shrinking away from the rising food needs, Anthony and all of the hard-working staff at the Storehouse dive in without question and with purpose to serve.

Such an attitude motivates our over +600 partner agencies and in turn, compels and motivates us to feed, seed, and lead. Feed every hungry person today. Seed partnerships that build self-sufficiency for tomorrow. Lead to achieve our vision of permanently ending hunger in New Mexico.

Thank you, Storehouse of Albuquerque and all our partner agencies for all you do!

Top Photo: Meet Storehouse Staff Members (From Left to Right): Jeff, Amy, & Anthony [Photo taken January 28th, 2015 by Matt Young]

Bottom Photo: Current Storehouse Refrigerators, More Than 10 Years Old [Photo taken January 28th, 2015 by Matt Young]


2 Responses to The Storehouse: One Partner Agency Meeting Needs for Over 50 Years

  1. Jerry N. Wesner says:

    I’m delighted to see the way many organizations support each other in providing food for those in need. My only problem would be if any of these religious facilities require their recipients to sit through a religious indoctrination before receiving food. I couldn’t contribute to that arrangement.

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