ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Growing need during the pandemic and that includes Roadrunner Food Bank. Their food distribution event drew hundreds of New Mexicans in need. Local food banks are trying to do more to meet the demand.

Hundreds of cars lined up Tuesday at University Stadium for the Roadrunner Food Bank’s food distribution. They say it’s the most people they’ve seen this whole pandemic. “I’ve been here since like 7:20 or so, I counted so many in a row over 325 people just like right now, it’s a lot,” says Teresa Longo.

Roadrunner Food Bank has been doing a weekly distribution at the University of New Mexico every Tuesday. “We know that people’s finances have been impacted during this time and people haven’t had an opportunity to recover from that,” Sonya Warwick, communications officer, Roadrunner Food Bank.

On average they serve about 450 households on their distribution days but this week they expanded their efforts to feed 1,500. “It’s people we know who have been impacted by job loss. You see people from all kinds of walks of life from distributions like this right now and that is also very humbling,” Warwick.

Teresa Longo says this was her first time at a food distribution and she waited three hours for her boxes of food. “It’s the pandemic and you know you end up losing your job but that’s ok, with people being so generous it makes you smile,” Longo says.

Food Bank officials say the pandemic has put some strain on their resources, they’ve had to wait longer for food orders and deal with increased food prices this year. “We’ve had to be mindful and make sure that we’re being thoughtful about food coming in and food leaving,” Warwick says.

But those leaving with food today will tell you, “I’m very thankful it’s helped us dramatically,” says Victoria Martinez. Officials with the Roadrunner Food Bank say they are planning another large scale distribution early next month.

Albuquerque Public Schools has also been distributing meals throughout the pandemic. They give out about 52,000 meals a day but say they have not seen an uptick during this latest health order.

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