Vowing to end hunger ain’t small potatoes. Yet that’s exactly what New Mexico’s Roadrunner Food Bank signed onto 33 years ago.
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With the money it gets in part from supporters, Roadrunner provides food to nearly 40,000 recipients every week. The folks on the receiving end defy stereotypes about the “type” of people that food banks serve. Only 8 percent are homeless, for example, and a whopping 40 percent are minors and children.
“We have many stories about all kinds of people that we serve,” says Stephanie Miller, director of development at Roadrunner. She says those stories are a critical part of the organization’s cycle of impact. When the food bank touches someone’s life through a distribution, that person has the power to inspire the staff and the food bank’s supporters to do even more.
Miller recounts the morning that the staff met a woman named Maria. She was a mother who had walked all the way to a morning mobile food bank distribution site. “She told the staff that she had two little girls. When she had gotten up that morning and all that they had in the whole house was one potato.”
Maria said she cooked that single potato, mashed it with a little water and fed it to her girls. But she said they were still hungry. “That’s how desperately she needed food that day,” Miller says.
Through Roadrunner Food Bank, Maria got the food her family so badly needed that day. “And before she left, she thanked every single volunteer and staff person that was there,” Miller says.
“Stories like that, you don’t forget.”