Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Beyond Baseball, Barbecues and Camping

We often associate summer with fireworks, outdoor barbecues, Wimbledon tennis, Albuquerque Isotopes baseball, camping, the Downtown Santa Fe or Las Cruces growers markets, trips to nearby and faraway places, and sorting food.  Sorting food?  That's right. Since there is more flexibility with schedules for a lot of folks, summer might also provide an opportunity to give back to the community. If this is the case, and if you live in the Albuquerque or Las Cruces area, Roadrunner Food Bank would like to have a word with you. 

Here is what Roadrunner Food Bank has to say:

With the summer months nearly here students, businesses, civic organizations and others might be interested in helping Roadrunner Food Bank prep food for distribution and help hungry clients across the state. The Food Bank can accommodate a maximum of 100 volunteers per shift at its Albuquerque branch location, and 30 people per shift in its Southern Branch in Las Cruces.

Matt Sanderson, event and volunteer engagement manager said, “Thanks to the generosity of some of our largest food donors, we are seeing an unexpected influx of food. While these donations are wonderful and help us feed hungry clients around the state, we are in desperate need of more volunteer help. Right now we estimate we need about 100 volunteers every two hours between 8 am and 3 pm.”

Last year, more than 10,000 people volunteered at the Food Bank, but more help is needed this summer. Volunteers help prep food for distribution by sorting food and produce, packing bread boxes, helping re-pack bulk items into smaller quantities, helping process recycling materials, pulling orders for food being delivered to agencies, and so much more. The Food Bank depends on the help of a small army of volunteers to prep about 90,000 pounds that leave its docks every day for distribution to a network of hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and other food assistance programs in the state.

Sanderson said, “Since we can accommodate such a large volume of people at one time, volunteering at the Food Bank is ideal for businesses too. We invite businesses to bring a group of employees and their families to join us. Volunteering is a great way to build team spirit and studies have shown that companies that encourage employee volunteerism build job satisfaction. We would be honored to have businesses and their employees spend some time with us this summer.”

Large groups, small groups and individuals are encouraged to help. Community members can volunteer in either the Albuquerque Branch or Southern Branch based in Las Cruces. Two, four or six hour volunteer shifts are available from 8 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. The Food Bank will also open some Saturdays over the summer from 8 am to noon including June 15 and July 20. To volunteer at either branch location, register online or call 505.349.8825.

For more information about volunteering, contact Matt Sanderson, event and volunteer engagement manager at Roadrunner Food Bank by calling 505.349.8825 or

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