Hunger and economics: How nonprofits are trying to make ends meet

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Thankfully, the staff and volunteers at Roadrunner Food Bank are able to serve the community right now, through the kindness and generosity of so many.

“That support has been absolutely critical in being able to make sure that food is flowing in and food is flowing out of this warehouse,” said Sonya Warwick, Roadrunner Food Bank spokesperson. “The support from the community the past two years has been absolutely incredible, and that need is still there.”

Donations of food and money are not as high as when COVID-19 hit, but the need is still very high.

“In terms of support two years ago, it’s definitely ebbed a little bit,” Warwick said.

She said the need for food has only dropped slightly since the pandemic caused a huge increase.

“Just seeing the different types of people coming for help. It’s everybody from people who are homeless, to people who are working a job and experiencing cuts to their hours and they’re not able to earn enough money to put food on the table,” Warwick said.

On top of that, the price of the food that Roadrunner buys has doubled or even tripled, and high gas prices are hurting them on transporting that food.

Reilly White, a finance professor at UNM, said that new numbers released from the U.S. Commerce Department show a troubling sign – consumer spending is down.

“This means that consumers’ bottom lines are being hit by the record-high inflation, the increasing interest rates, and it does indicate a warning signal for the economy ahead,” White said. “Consumers have less money to save, as well as less money to spend.”

According to White, with wages not rising as fast as inflation, high gas prices hurting nearly everyone, and interest rates increasing, reduced spending will continue at least into next year.

To donate to Roadrunner Food Bank, click here. On Thursday, two anonymous donors are matching gifts to the food bank, so your donation will be matched until 11:59 p.m.