Ending Hunger in Northern New Mexico
Northern New Mexico’s Food Bank
Hunger remains constant in the lives of many New Mexicans and is a growing crisis for families in Northern New Mexico. The Food Research and Action Center’s Food Hardship: A Closer Look at Hunger released in August 2011 maintains that, for New Mexico, 28.3 percent of households with children reported not having enough money to buy the food their families needed. Groundbreaking research, Missing Meals in New Mexico discovered that low-income New Mexicans are missing 117,140,870 meals every year. This means that vulnerable families, children, seniors and individuals do not have enough food in their homes. For The Food Depot’s service area of nine counties, nearly 16 million meals are missing.
As the food bank for nine Northern New Mexico counties, The Food Depot provides food to 120 not-for-profit agencies including emergency food pantries, hot meal programs, homeless shelters, youth programs, senior centers, homes for the mentally disabled and shelters for battered families. The food bank distributes an average of 300,000 pounds of food and household products each month, providing more than 400,000 meals to people in need - the most vulnerable of our community – children, seniors, working families and those in ill health.
The Food Depot plays a unique role within the fight against hunger. Northern New Mexico’s food bank rescues available food donations, supplying those donations to non-profit agencies that conduct feeding programs. This service enables The Food Depot’s partner nonprofit agencies to utilize their resources more efficiently. Their staff and volunteers can use their time and talents providing the nonprofit’s primary services such as programs for youth, preparation of hot meals or food bags, counseling, shelter, or case management.
The Food Depot acquires food from 100 local donors including grocers, restaurants, farmers, and small distributors. The food bank’s affiliation with Feeding America provides food donations from outside the state to support the local battle against hunger. The food bank’s participation in the NM Association of Food Banks’ Produce Initiative offers nutritious produce. The Food Depot partners with the NM Human Services to distribute USDA commodities.
The Food Depot operates a delivery program to get emergency food to programs located in rural areas. This program allows small agencies with few resources to pick up needed food without traveling to Santa Fe. The food bank’s Mobile Food Pantry program has 16 sites, reaching more than 1,200 households in isolated communities. Finally, The Food Depot’s Food 4 Kids program directly addresses the growing crisis of childhood hunger by offering backpacks filled with child-friendly foods to Santa Fe Public School students known by school personnel to be hungry. The program enables children access to nutritious food in the evenings and on weekends when their families may be unable to provide meals at home.
1222 Siler Road
Viola Lujan, Program Manager
(505) 471-1633, X11
Anne Padilla, Office Administrator
(505) 471-1633, X12
Justin Peters, Warehouse Manager
(505) 471-1633, X14