In November 2018, Random Acts encouraged all of our supporters to take part in our annual Endure4Kindness (E4K) event, and, as always, you blew us away with your creativity and kindness. Money raised during E4K allows us to sponsor acts of kindness all around the world. Funds from E4K 2018 are also going toward fighting childhood hunger. Whether you challenged yourself with your own E4K activity, spread the word on social media, supported others with their E4K fundraising, or donated to The Bad Idea Tour, your participation is helping to make the world a better place. We love being able to share some of the ways that your hard work is helping to fight food insecurity.
Next up: #RANoHungryChild goes to New Mexico!
Filling a Need
When we contacted Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico, they were kind enough to share both statistics and personal stories that demonstrate how important their work is to the community. Around 24 percent of children in New Mexico experience food insecurity, which can cause physical and emotional side effects. New Mexico ranked highest among all 50 United States for childhood food insecurity during Feeding America’s 2019 Map the Meal Gap assessment. Needless to say, there is a lot of work to be done when it comes to addressing childhood hunger in New Mexico. Thankfully, Roadrunner Food Bank is up for the challenge.
Childhood Hunger Initiative Changes Lives
Roadrunner Food Bank began their Childhood Hunger Initiative (CHI) during the 2014–2015 school year. This program involves partnering with 68 different elementary, middle, and high schools within their 16-county-wide service area. There are four main branches of CHI: a mobile food pantry, a fixed pantry, a summer mobile food pantry, and a weekend backpack program. The mobile food pantry distributes food using a farmer’s-market-style shopping experience once a month so that people can choose their own food. Fixed pantries are located on partner school campuses and have weekly hours of operation. The summer mobile food pantry fills the gap during time off from school, with farmer’s-market-style distribution during the summer. Families that do not pick up food from the fixed pantries can receive help through the weekend backpack program, which sends children home with a backpack of food to last over the weekend. Each branch of CHI plays an important role in feeding not only children, but also their families.
Here is just one of the wonderful stories Roadrunner has received about how their Childhood Hunger Initiative is changing lives. “A 1st grader, whom I’ll name Erica, has her hair pulled back in a ponytail and is wearing a navy blue skirt and very clean white blouse. She walks slowly into the front office and stands by my desk. Waiting patiently for me to hang up the phone, she slides a piece of paper in front of me. As I read the note, Erica walks away with a big smile. The note stated, ‘Thank you teacher for the food you gave my family. I love the cucumbers and apples.’ Erica’s teacher raves about the changes in her appearance and attitude. Erica has made lots of progress academically and has lots of friends. This month she shared with her class some of the cucumbers from the distribution that her mom prepared with lemon juice and chile. The kids loved it, and Erica was the center of attention for that afternoon, thanks to Roadrunner. Roadrunner has helped so many of our families who struggle to make ends meet. Most kids get to eat fruit and vegetables at home that are available at school only.”
Fueling Roadrunner Food Bank
Thanks to your generous support during E4K 2018, we were able to donate 167 pounds of shelf-stable food to Roadrunner Food Bank. This donation included things like peanut butter, jelly, microwavable pasta meals, pasta, canned fruits and vegetables, rice, canned chicken, canned tuna, ketchup, oatmeal, and cold cereals. We were also able to provide the organization with $1,500 so that they could directly purchase more food for the Childhood Hunger Initiative, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. You can watch their awesome thank you video for our shelf-stable donations here.
Inspired by the Roadrunner Food Bank’s Childhood Hunger Initiative? Visit the Roadrunner Food Bank website to learn more about supporting them through monetary donations, food donations, advocacy, or volunteer work.
You can continue to join us in our fight against hunger by reaching out to your local food bank or by donating your time or resources to other organizations that combat food insecurity near you. Remember, you can always connect with your Random Acts Regional Representatives to learn about local kindness ideas and opportunities!