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Albuquerque Food Bank Joins National Hunger Action Month

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Tuesday, September 7, 2021   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The number of people struggling to put food on the table in New Mexico has decreased since the onset of the pandemic, but those without jobs and many families with children are still struggling to get back on their feet.

Larrissa Orosco, an Albuquerque social worker and New Mexico Roadrunner Food Bank client, found herself without enough billable hours to afford groceries in June and said she turned to the Roadrunner Food Bank for help.

"It's not only those who don't have jobs or who are unemployed, it's also the working people out in the community," Orosco explained.

September is Hunger Action Month, led by the Feeding America Network, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization. The group encourages donations to your local food bank, volunteering there or hosting a food drive.

Sonya Warwick, director of communications and events for the New Mexico Roadrunner Food Bank, said one in four children and one in six people overall in New Mexico are at risk of hunger. She pointed out for every dollar donated to hunger-relief agencies, five meals can be provided; meals that help ensure fewer residents are going without.

"We do expect rural communities to be impacted by hunger," Warwick observed. "Obviously children, so families with children in them, are definitely impacted in a larger way. Seniors, absolutely."

Advocates for ending hunger are wearing orange on Hunger Action Day, Friday, Sep. 17. Orosco recommended any day this month is a good opportunity to "pay it forward" if you have the financial means.

"If you're not one that needs food, hey, that's great, count your blessings," Orosco remarked. "But if you're able to give back and give to those agencies so that they can take care of those in the community that aren't able to take care of themselves, do it."

Starting Oct. 1, the Biden administration has authorized an increase in benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Participating households will be eligible for $250 more per month in food benefits, or $36 a person. The Department of Agriculture estimates the program feeds more than 42 million Americans each month.

Disclosure: Roadrunner Food Bank contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Community Issues and Volunteering, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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