Food Bank

Mission
 
The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico operates as a warehousing and distribution point for emergency food, either donated or purchased, for area service agencies that help provide food to insecure familes and individuals. These food sources supply the Food Bank's six programs: Agency Pantry Service, Special Helpings Program, Produce to People Market, Mobile Food Pantry Program, Child Hunger Initiative Program, and I Still Care Wellness Program.

 

  • The Agency Pantry Service allows qualifying organizations to gather food from the warehouse that best fits their needs. The agency then distributes the food to those in need.
  • Produce to People Market provides produce to clients at a free Farmer's Market-style monthly event.
  • The Child Hunger Initiataive Program provides food packages to students who may not have enough to eat during the weekend when they are not in school. Implementation of a pilot program for a referral-based pantry for families is planned for the 2016-2017 school year.
  • The Special Helpings Program offers food boxes to seniors and those who cannot leave home to shop for groceries.
  • The Mobile Food Program distributes food throughout its seven-county service area from the USDA’s Emergency Food Assistance Program, donated and purchased food. The Food Bank delivers food to 21 communities.
  • The Food Bank also sponsors I Still Care Wellness Program, a non-medical daily telephone check-in to see if a person lacks food, medicine or has had an emergency. When these situations occur, the Food Bank notifies the proper emergency personnel.
  • The Food Bank serves 7 counties, partners with 32 agencies, transports food to 21 communities, and delivers the Backpack Program to 500 students in 19 schools. It distributed over a million pounds of food in 2015.

 
Community Results
 
For the first time since 2012, the Food Bank was granted a contract with Feeding America. Meeting Feeding America's high standards for food safety, warehouse safety and administrative control, the Food Bank was successful in re-establishing this relationship, leading the way for opportunity and growth to serve the eastern region of New Mexico.

Last fall, during a coalition meeting of feeding programs, the Food Bank and iCan decided to collaborate on a new program that would make fresh produce available to families with a chance to work with a nutrition educator. Since August 2015, 200 to 240 families take home over 40 pounds of free fresh food each month. They also receive recipes and tips for cooking with fresh produce.

The importance of the Backpack Program is reflected in comments from area schools. "A family of a child at Texico Elementary School has benefited and appreciated the Backback Program so much. The mother has spoken to me about how the children look forward to the snacks and it is a help over the weekend." --Texico Municipal Schools."We call our participlants 'Backback Buddies.' We have over 20 students who participate. We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a valuable program." --Valencia Elementary, Portales. "The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico has benefited many of our students. We have one in particular that was in desperate need this last fall. This student came to us from another state and was homeless for quite awhile. The food we sent home was a welcome relief for him and his family." --Barry Elementary, Clovis.

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