Your Chance to Help Alleviate Hunger in New Mexico
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
A silver lining of the pandemic was more money available to address hunger, but those funds are drying up, and many in New Mexico will struggle this winter without the donations made to food banks.
September is Hunger Action Month.
Faith Schifani, communications specialist for the Roadrunner Food Bank, said with inflation increasing the cost of food, fuel and other necessities, it is fitting this year's theme focuses on why food shouldn't be an impossible choice.
"Those impossible choices of choosing between paying utilities, child care, medical bills or buying groceries,"
Schifani outlined. "So many people are still overcoming hardships brought on by the pandemic - our goal is to make sure that food isn't an impossible choice for people."
Roadrunner partners with Feeding America, which said one in eight people, or 271,000 New Mexicans, are facing hunger, and almost 100,000 are children.
Schifani recognized people live busy lives, but pointed out there are many simple ways to help raise awareness and ease hunger, including making a monetary donation or volunteering a few hours a month. She added there is even an opportunity to help while exercising.
"Whether that be learning about one of our programs, signing up to host a food or fund drive. We have a collaboration with an app called 'Charity Miles,' where you can select Feeding America as the charity," Schifani explained. "Every time that you walk a certain amount of miles, you get a donation made to the charity that you select."
Schifani emphasized making progress to end hunger also must include informing lawmakers about the need in local communities, and making sure they know it is a priority.
"It doesn't cost anything to be an advocate," Schifani stressed. "That's why we encourage people to get out into their communities and advocate, and educate themselves on hunger-related issues."
The Roadrunner's website has a Food Finder feature, allowing anyone seeking help to enter a ZIP code for a list of food distribution partners in New Mexico communities.
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