NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico has some of the worst hunger statistics in the nation and the pandemic has only made it worse. KRQE News 13 talked to a local food bank that is working hard to make sure no New Mexicans are going hungry.
“You know how many people are out there hungry? We gotta feed them. Somebody’s gotta do it. So we gotta do it,” said Juanita Higareda.
Higareda started volunteering at Storehouse New Mexico in 2014. The non-profit was founded more than four decades ago by Pastor Titus Scholl in 1976 with one specific goal in mind, to feed everyone in New Mexico.
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Now 45 years later, Storehouse New Mexico provides more than 1.6 million meals annually. In year two of the pandemic, the spirit of giving has never been more important. “Prior to the pandemic, 1 in 4 children were going hungry and now that statistic has worsened to 1 in 3 children going hungry,” said Charissa Inman, development coordinator for Storehouse NM.
Every dollar donated to the Storehouse can provide five meals to people in need. “We’ve all seen the price of everyday essentials like fuel and especially groceries are going up so it’s really important that we continue to provide free nutritious food to families and individuals who need it now more than ever,” said Inman.
Individuals like Jeff Garber say sometimes his food stamps don’t last throughout the month. “I think it’s very valuable to the community because a lot of times the food just doesn’t last you have to stretch it out,” said Garber.
For many, it’s about more than just food. “They feel that they belong here. They feel that they’re family and that they can demand and they can ask of us without no [sic] embarrassment or without hesitation,” said Higareda.
It’s a place they can rely on. “We don’t turn nobody down,” said Higareda.
If you would like to donate to Storehouse New Mexico or another local food bank, visit https://map.tacklehunger.org/