The generosity of donors and partners fills us with thanks and has been truly "awe"some! This abundant support has enabled AFSC's New Mexico Program to buy thousands of dollars of local produce for relief organizations and purchase supplies for nine local, sustainable, and small-scale farms. We have also provided over 100 face masks sewn by local Quakers to tribes, farmers, food service workers, and those delivering food to seniors. The need for this support is readily apparent: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed persons across New Mexico increased by more than 40,000 just between Febrary and April 2020. During this challenging time, we see how important local food systems are and how much strength we can have when we come together to support one another.
A partnership with Bernalillo County and generous donations from New Mexicans and people across the country will enable us to purchase a steady stream of nutritious produce all season long. Staff and volunteers at Roadrunner Food Bank have been amazed at the just-picked produce we give them. They are used to sorting out rotting produce from grocery store donations and are thrilled to provide clients with such great quality produce. Years of medical research show that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is protective from and restorative for chronic diseases - and this pandemic has more negatively affected those with underlying health conditions. What better time to provide nutritious foods to those most in need! From the City of Albuquerque's botanical gardens, local faith communities, community gardens, and large and small donations, we have been humbled by the outpouring of support for both sustainable local farms and those struggling with food insecurity.
Find regular updates, please visit facebook.com/afscnm.
You can read more about our work in these news stories:
“New Mexico Farmers Help Local Food Banks in Exchange for Supplies.” By Grace Reader. KOB Channel 4.
“Bridging the Nutrition Gap: Effort underway to benefit farms, food banks.”By Theresa Davis. The Albuquerque Journal.
“From farms to food banks: New intiative seeks to aid state’s struggling growers as well as the hungry.” By Olivia Harlow. The Santa Fe New Mexican.
“Quaker Group Connects N.M. Organic Farmers With Food Banks During COVID Outbreak.” By Nash Jones. KUNM.
“The Farm to Food Bank Movement Aims to Rescue Small-Scale Farming and Feed the Hungry: Across the country, grassroots and regional programs are paying farmers to harvest surplus crops to meet skyrocketing demand.” By Lynne Curry. Civil Eats.