The Food Depot’s Agenda for the
2023 Regular Legislative Session
Approved by The Food Depot Board of Directors on January 18, 2023
The Food Depot respectfully requests that you and your colleagues provide crucial help to
our efforts by taking the following seven actions:
ACTION ONE: SUPPORT INCREASED, RECURRING FUNDING FOR FOOD BANKS
Repeat the 2022 appropriation of $1,116,500 for food banks to purchase and distribute fresh
produce, and appropriate an additional $10 million per the Food Initiative for food banks to
acquire more of the self-stable food hungry New Mexicans need. Because there is no end in
sight to the need for this funding, it should be made recurring.
ACTION TWO: SUPPORT UNIVERSAL FREE SCHOOL MEALS
Approximately 20 percent of our state’s children are food insecure. An important way to
reduce their hunger will be to enact legislation to provide universal free school meals. This
will ensure that, when schools are open, every child can receive a nutritious breakfast and
lunch and, in some cases, an afternoon snack or meal before going home. A child should only
have to worry about school rather than worry about going hungry and feeling ‘less than’ their
peers. Making these meals free to all children will end the costly and frustrating
administration of means tests for children’s families. It will reduce ostracism of children
whose family incomes permit them to eat free while children from families with higher
incomes must pay something to eat. And it will reduce non-participation by children whose
families lack the money to pay even the low co-payments required and by those who don’t
want to be seen as participants in a “welfare” or “handout” program.
ACTION THREE: LEAVE FOOD EXEMPT FROM TAX
Leave food exempt from the gross receipts tax. Taxing food will directly reduce the food that
can be purchased by poor New Mexicans who already are experiencing hunger, and already-
strained food banks will not be able to make up difference. Make no mistake: taxing food will
increase hunger in our state.
ACTION FOUR: INCREASE SNAP BENEFITS FOR SENIORS
Approve a $225 per month allocation to up to 42,287 seniors in the state’s augmentation of
the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”) benefit received
by New Mexico’s poor senior citizens. Seniors are increasingly hard-pressed to meet their
essential living expenses in the face of inflation, and this will reduce the number of them who
face food insecurity.
ACTION FIVE: ELIMINATE THE ANTI-DONATION CLAUSE FOR FOOD BANKS
When the Legislature provides funding intended to help food banks meet the increasing
costs of feeding hungry New Mexicans and, in order to comply with the restrictions of the
Anti-Donation Clause, the recipient food banks must obtain those funds from various local
governments, the funds are delayed in reaching the food banks by a host of administrative
requirements and sometimes never realize their intended purpose of preventing hunger.
Some 2022 funding has not yet reached the food banks for which it was appropriated.
Application of the Anti-Donation Clause to established nonprofit organizations involved in
feeding hungry New Mexicans should be eliminated. Until that is accomplished, State
funding for food banks should be channeled to them by means of contracts from state
agencies rather than grants they must obtain from local governments.
ACTION SIX: ELIMINATE GROSS RECEIPTS TAX ON SERVICES FOR FOOD BANKS
Currently, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations like food banks do not pay gross receipts tax
on tangibles they purchase and yet do have to pay gross receipts tax on services, making New
Mexico gross receipts tax law different from most other states. Please support the end of GRT
ACTION SEVEN: SUPPORT FOR A MEMORIAL FOR HUNTERS HELPING THE HUNGRY
We urge your support for a Memorial calling on the appropriate state agencies to simplify
and clarify their requirements and procedures to facilitate donations by hunters of game
animals they have killed, and safe processing of the meat obtained from those game animals
so it can be used by food banks to feed hungry New Mexicans across the state.