Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#StampOutHunger: New Mexicans Donate 230,000 Pounds of Food

How many of you left a bag of food by your mailbox a couple of Saturdays ago? Or if you wanted to spare your mail carrier from having to haul all that food, perhaps you did what I did, which was to take the food directly to a branch post office. There are several advantages to taking the food yourself, including the possibility of bringing more items to the post office than the amount you would have left by the mailbox.  (You wouldn't believe how much $12 can buy at the local grocery store)!.

Regardless of how you donated the food, you contributed to the success of this year's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. According to Melody Wattenbarger, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank, mail carriers collected 175,600 pounds of food in the Albuquerque area this year. That is a 24 percent increase from the amount collected in 2016.

Collections in Las Cruces amounted to 40,000 pounds of food, an increase of about 10,000 pounds from 2016. According to Sherry Hooper, director of the Food Depot in Santa Fe, mail carriers in northern New Mexico collected more than 15,000 pounds on May 13, a 47 percent increase over 2016. "That amount would provide 12,500 meals," said Hooper.

The Stamp Out Hunger collections in the Albuquerque area, Las Cruces and Santa Fe-Northern New Mexico combined amounted to more 230,000 pounds. The total does not include the collections in some of the smaller communities around the state.

The success of #StampOutHunger2017 means that Roadrunner Food Bank and the Food Depot will have plenty of food on hand during a season when food supplies have tended to be low and demand has tended to increase (because children are out of school and do not have access to subsidized school meals).

“It is truly amazing how the efforts of our community can impact our continued role to supply food to hundreds of partners throughout New Mexico for the benefit of our hungry neighbors,” Wattenbarger said in an interview with The Albuquerque Journal.

Other sites around the country, like Lorain County in Ohio, Henderson County (Ashevillle) in North Carolina, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Williamson, West Virginia, also reported an increase in collections.

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