New Mexico food banks struggle to meet soaring demand
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hunger is an issue many New Mexicans face all year. Places like Storehouse New Mexico provide groceries to families in need and see that demand daily.
“Recently, we’ve seen an uptick in people, almost double the households in recent months, so we know the need continues to increase,” said Jill Beets with Storehouse NM.
The food pantry hit a new record just last week.
“We’ve been averaging about 170 households every time we open,” Beets said. “Last week, we had 340 households or more in one day.”
Storehouse NM typically feeds 35,000 people a year, and the holidays are usually a busy time.
“During the holidays, families do have an expectation of what a meal looks like,” Beets said. “They don’t count on us all year, they might just count on us just for Thanksgiving or Christmas or around those holidays when they want to create those meals for their families.”
Roadrunner Food Bank has also seen that need grow, and they are also expecting a spike during the holidays. The problem right now is getting donations.
“We all are experiencing increases and those food donations are critical to meet the need,” said Sonya Warwick, Roadrunner Food Bank director of communications.
Roadrunner Food Bank typically partners with the Post Office this time of year for a big-scale community food drive, but it’s not happening this year.
“That event typically raises anywhere from 120, up to 200 pounds of food for us, and we utilize that in our warehouse, like the other foods that we get from other sources,” Warwick said. “So please continue to contribute if you’re able to.”
While both Storehouse NM and Roadrunner Food Bank can always use the food and money donations – there is always a big need for volunteers.
“We’re getting ready to have some additional food distributions with the holidays coming up and we would encourage people to look at our website and sign up to help out in the community,” Warwick said.