Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'One Chicken per Client' (But Everyone Gets One)

Roadrunner Food Bank, with the help of grant from Morgan Stanley, has developed a special program this summer to provide food in eight communities in Albuquerque and Las Cruces where low-income children qualify for subsidized meals during the school year. When school is in session, these low-income children have access to a nutritious breakfast and lunch, but those meals are not available after school ends in May.
"Once summer is here, suddenly families don’t have the ability to afford those extra meals at home," said Roadrunner Food Bank. "This new program will ensure the most vulnerable families in these schools will have access to enough food this summer."

Roadrunner Food Bank will distribute food at five schools in Albuquerque  and three in Las Cruces via its mobile food pantry through the week of Aug. 5. Produce, meat and other food items will distributed at most sites every two weeks, although the mobile food pantry will be at Atrisco Heritage Academy weekly.

Distribution sites in Albuquerque: Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, Hayes Middle School and La Mesa, Mission Avenue and Pajarito elementaries.Distribution sites in Las Cruces: Booker T. Washington and MacArthur elementaries and Lynn Middle School. (Note: Distributed food at these sites is for the families whose children attend these schools and have been identified as in need. The general public should call 505.349.8841 for food assistance or click on the Get Help button on the Roadrunner Food Bank Web site).

Atrisco Academy and Pajarito Elementary School, two schools in Albuquerque South Valley, were featured in an article in The Albuquerque Journal on June 18, the first day when the mobile food pantry came to those sites.  Here is an excerpt:

Using baby strollers, laundry baskets, wheeled carts and milk crates, families showed up to tote home the food that would feed 144 adults and 162 children, 80 of whom are students at Pajarito, according to volunteer Pamela Campos, the school’s family support liaison who helped run the three-hour donation.

Recipients lined up 50 strong outside the school before 10 a.m. and went inside the school’s gym a few at a time to stock up on Texas onions, yellow squash, green zucchini, key limes, pasta shells, rice, pinto beans, dried tomatoes, bagged bagels and cereal. There were also six boxes of whole frozen chickens. “Everybody gets one, OK?” Campos called out to families. “One chicken per client.”

Read full article, entitled New Program Feeds Hungry Kids (If you don't have an online or delivery subscription, you can still see the article by answering a couple of questions from advertisers).

The food-distribution effort is made possible by a grant of $50,000 from Morgan Stanley, which provided a total of $8 million for similar programs to Feeding America affiliates  across the U.S. this summer.

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