ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two of New Mexico’s largest distributors of free groceries are in need of donations to help New Mexicans put food on the table.
Roadrunner Food Bank usually partners with the United States Postal Service for a fall food drive. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the United States Postal Service cannot support a food drive this November. “That nice influx of food that we would get from that activity, you know, it was up to 150 to 2,000 pounds of food, won’t be arriving to our dock. So we’re definitely encouraging the community to donate food,” said Sonya Warwick, director of Communications at Roadrunner Food Bank.
Warwick said the food bank typically sees an increase in demand during the winter months, which is another reason why they need donations.
Storehouse New Mexico, a community-based food pantry, said it is also seeing a recent increase in demand. “We were seeing about an average of 160 to 170 households every time we open, which is Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. 9 a.m. to Noon. Two weeks ago, we actually set a record. We served over 320 families in one day,” said Jill Beets, marketing representative for the Storehouse of New Mexico.
Other factors that have led to an increase in demand are the higher cost of living and the rollback of SNAP benefits to pre-pandemic levels, according to Warwick.
Beets said the holidays can often put pressure on individuals when it comes to buying food. “The holidays are a different time,” Beets said. “People have an expectation of what that looks like. And they want that sort of iconic turkey or like a centerpiece kind of meal, both for Thanksgiving and for Christmas.”
Roadrunner Food Bank and Storehouse New Mexico are accepting donations and are in need of volunteers all year. “The food bank is also recruiting volunteers for three large food distributions that are happening and that we’re hosting out in the community on [November] 18th, 19th and 20th,” said Warwick.
If you are interested in volunteering at Storehouse New Mexico, Beets said spots typically fill up quickly the week of Thanksgiving. “We definitely need volunteers in groups or you can just come as an independent person. You can come with a group up to 15,” Beets explained.