Many of us began this year with newfound political energy and a burning question: “What can I do to help?” Some find the answer to that question in community organizations or activist groups, some in volunteer work or simply in taking care of the people around them with a little more diligence. If you’re still asking that question now, at the end of the year—and, frankly, all of us should be—then I have one potential answer for you: You can help feed hungry people in your community.
Thankfully, there are dozens of charities and nonprofit organizations that are working to do just that, and they are always looking for donations of money, food and time. If you’re moved to give to those less fortunate during the holidays, then consider donating to one of the organizations below. Some, like New Mexico Appleseed, are working to end hunger in New Mexico now, and others, like the Greenhorns and FoodCorps, are providing food security for the future on a national level by teaching young people farming, cooking and healthy eating skills. All of them are worthy of your generous gift.
Roadrunner Food Bank
The Roadrunner Food Bank is the largest food bank in New Mexico, and they’ve been feeding the hungry since 1980. They distribute food to food pantries, shelters, group homes, soup kitchens, low-income senior housing sites and regional food banks all over the state to directly address hunger in those specific communities. They are also the first hunger responders in local disasters such as wildfires and floods, and they also served as a drop-off center for donations to Hurricane Harvey victims this year. All donations to the Roadrunner Food Bank in the month of December will be matched dollar for dollar by generous supporters. Donate at rrfb.org, or by calling 247-2052.
The Storehouse is a nonprofit food pantry that feeds over 50,000 people in New Mexico each year. They are always accepting donations of non-perishable food, including pet food—in addition to their regular open hours (Wed-Sat, 9am to noon), they distribute free pet food from their Downtown pantry (106 Broadway Blvd. SE) every Friday. Donate at thestorehouseabq.org. Interested in holding a food donation drive? Call CarrieAnn at 842-6491 to have donation barrels delivered and picked up.
New Mexico Appleseed
New Mexico Appleseed is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished people in New Mexico through systemic change. They spearheaded New Mexico’s Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act this year, which now prevents schools from stigmatizing children who can’t pay for their school lunches with tactics like making them wear wristbands or even throwing their hot lunch away in front of them. They also proposed and advocated for the Breakfast After the Bell Law, which provides children at high-poverty schools with a free breakfast in the first few minutes of school. Needless to say, their anti-hunger work has already had real, lasting effects, and your donation will help them continue to serve poor and hungry children in the state. Donate at nmappleseed.org or by calling 814-1200.
FoodCorps, a grantee of AmeriCorps, is composed of service members who work with schools to start school gardens, improve school lunch options, and teach kids gardening and healthy eating skills. According to the FoodCorps website, “Students in FoodCorps schools with more hands-on learning activities are eating triple the amount of fruits and vegetables as students who receive less of that hands-on learning.” You can donate (or apply to spend a service year working with FoodCorps) at foodcorps.org.
Greenhorns’ mission statement is “to promote, recruit and support new farmers in America.” This grassroots organization is composed of young farmers and ranchers who want to making American farming practices more sustainable and healthy for the environment and for the people they feed. If we’re going to make it through the next dustbowl, we’ll need these energetic and forward-thinking young people to lead the way. Donate (or buy one of their books) at thegreenhorns.net.