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Post-Pandemic, Hunger in NM Still a Critical Concern for Thousands

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Tuesday, December 13, 2022   

Holiday preparations are underway, and those who battle hunger in New Mexico are urging communities to remember their neighbors at a time when food could be scarce.

Sonya Warwick, communications and events director for the Roadrunner Food Bank, said hunger affects one in five children in the state and one in eight people overall, with even more in rural counties.

She explained from seniors hit by inflation, to those with chronic health conditions coping with the high cost of medicine, people from all walks of life can struggle to afford all their monthly needs and still buy groceries.

"You know, I met a gentleman not long ago at one of our distributions, and he works in construction and the work has been kind of inconsistent for him, right?" Warwick recounted. "And he has five children in the household, and he just said, 'I'm coming today because I don't know what else we're going to do. I need this right now.' "

Warwick emphasized financial or food donations this time of year will help carry the food bank through to the new year.

Donations to the Food Bank are processed through the Albuquerque distribution center and then allocated to network partners, including food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, school partners, health care sites and senior locations. Millions of people relied on food banks to survive during the pandemic, which Warwick noted is still impacting many New Mexico families.

"We do see that need has still remained very much elevated compared to what we saw before the pandemic started," Warwick reported.

Warwick hopes a heavy lift from three local donors will inspire others to give.

"And these three donors have agreed to match any contribution made to the food bank in the month of December," Warwick stressed. "It's a great way to double the impact of your gift."

The donors include the Abram and Ray Kaplan Foundation, AmeriHealth Caritas and Smith's Food and Drug Stores. Food donations can be brought to the Albuquerque office during business hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 5840 Office Boulevard Northeast.

Disclosure: The Roadrunner Food Bank contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Community Issues and Volunteering, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

References:  
Roadrunner Food Bank 2022

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