When I first started working as a food sourcer for Roadrunner Food Bank five years ago, we had dedicated food partners even back then. Each week food partners donated their unsaleable food. Some weeks we were more or less depending on the influx of food in the market.
(Target stores bring employees to volunteer every year)
With passing year since I started, the Food Bank has seen the need growing as food lines and the number of hungry people who needed our services escalated. Between the recession and a struggling economy, more people continue to turn to us and our network of partner agencies to feed their families throughout the month. A majority of the food we supply to hungry people comes from our food partners. Without their generosity, many hungry New Mexicans wouldn’t have food from the Food Bank to count on from month to month.
During times of economic strife, our food partners too have felt the impact of the economy. Our food partners may have reached the limits of their food donations, but have continued to ensure the supply of food we receive from them on a daily basis is a constant. And, they have stepped up their participation and partnership in other ways. They have their employees volunteer here at the Food Bank, or give us grants and financial donations allowing us to extend our ability to obtain more food from other sources and distribute more food in communities across the state.
(Walmart employees volunteer often at the Food Bank)
By taking on these additional roles and helping, they have made more food available to our neighbors experiencing hunger.
- They donate food – feeds people
- Their volunteering helps prepare donated food – feeds people
- They donate money which supports food purchases – feeds people
It’s hundreds of locations across the state including the Walmart’s, Sam’s Clubs, Smiths, Targets, General Mills, the Young Ranchers and Farmers and so many more that have joined in our work in as many ways as they can to ensure our success in getting precious meals in counties across the state!
(The Young Ranchers and Farmers group volunteer and donate funds annually)
We are all here as partners to help the less fortunate in every community in our state no matter what the company name on the door is. Thank you food partners! Your giving from food to service to funds helps us reach nearly 40,000 hungry people every week!
Julie Anderson is the Food Rescue Manager at Roadrunner Food Bank.