We were offered the opportunity this year to make a presentation about House Memorial 90, which was brought before the Health and Human Services Committee in the New Mexico State Legislature in February 2018. Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, a lead sponsor of the initiative, spoke about the memorial (see video below).
|Roadrunner Food Bank, Jason Riggs, Kate Page|
Before Rep. Maestas Barnes' presentation, I (Carlos Navarro) offered a reflection on the common values of the faith traditions that participate in the Interfaith Hunger Coalition. This presentation, which I adapted from a piece I wrote for the Center for Action and Contemplations biannual journal Oneing, borrowed heavily on the comments that members of the Jewish, Baha'i, Muslim and Catholic traditions presented at the Fourth Annual End Hunger Summit in 2017.
There were many display tables in the lobby of the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque, which hosted the event.
In addition to our own table, two of our endorsing partner organizations, Roadrunner Food Bank and Rio Grande Food Project, also set up informational tables.
|Rep. Jim Trujillo, Mayor Keller, Tim Armer|
The event also featured presentations by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (see video below); Rep. Jim Trujillo; Tim Armer of the North-Central New Mexico Economic Development District; Dr. Sally Fisher, Assistant Clinical Professor UNM School of Medicine; Carol Pierce, Director of Family and Community Services for the City of Albuquerque; Anne Ryan, director of Community Services for Sandoval County; and Lura Barber and Vivian Nava-Schellinger of the National Council on Aging..See full program.
Below are videos of the presentations (including partial transcripts) by Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes and Mayor Keller, followed by some photographs of the event.
Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes talks about House Memorial 90
"[The goal of House Memorial 90] is to come up with a statewide plan to address hunger and poverty in New Mexico. It's something that is important to everyone in this room but also some of the people that aren't here today. I want to give you a bit a background on how this piece of legislation came to be...You might remember a bill that was introduced and passed by Sen. Michael Padilla. That bill created the Hunger Bill of Rights. It addressed a lot the lunch shaming issues that children in New Mexico specifically deal with
One of the things that has been most surprising to me since I've been in the legislature is how little this issue of hunger is addressed or even talked about It wasn't until [the Hunger Bill of Rights] was brought forth that we had an in-depth this discussion. And it was something that really struck home for me. As a child I grew up in poverty I never had to fortunately deal with hunger issues, but I had free and reduced lunch at different times times in my life, and that allowed me to have a warm meal every day when I went to school for breakfast and lunch. I was one of those kids that was shamed a couple of different occasions. It was so phenomenal for the senator to introduce this legislation. ..."
Mayor Tim Keller discusses the City of Albuquerque's Feeding Efforts
"I had no idea we served so much food..It's a good thing when it comes to the city's perspective. Obviously, it reflects a lot of challenges. We are heavy in the end hunger business. For breakfast we provide 380,000 meals. We do this through a lot of different ways, whether it's through our senior centers, our community centers or in cooperation with a lot of partners, including the school system...We are one of the few cities that has a very vibrant and active senior-center life, and part of thst is meals...The senior center meals are very good...I've had them several times. They taste like grandma's. You show up at an Albuquerque Senior Center and you'll get some good green chile stew."
|Interfaith Hunger Coalition, Brenda Sinfield|
|Rio Grande Food Project, Ari Herring (left)|
|Joy Dinaro, Ellen Buelow, Kathryn Arndt, Kathy Freeze, Carlos Navarro, Brenda Sinfield|