Roadrunner Food Bank is eligible to earn a $45,000 grant through the Walmart “Fight Hunger, Spark Change” Campaign. In addition, three of Roadrunner Food Bank’s partner agencies that help distribute food – the Rio Grande Food Project, The Storehouse and the Holy Family St. Vincent de Paul program – would each receive $5,000 in funding.
Approximately 130 food banks nationwide are competing for the grants. The recipients will be determined through an online voting campaign. Fifty food banks with the most votes will be selected for the $60,000 grant.
If Roadrunner Food Bank is awarded the grant, it will use the funds to support its new Childhood Hunger Initiative. With this program, Roadrunner Food Bank works in partnership with elementary schools to provide food to hungry children and their families. The Childhood Hunger Initiative includes a combination of monthly farmers-market-style mobile food pantries, school-based pantries and weekend backpacks.
“We are excited for the opportunity to compete for this grant, and we appreciate Walmart’s continued efforts to help us solve hunger,” Melody Wattenbarger, President and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank, said. “This funding will make a real difference in the lives of hungry families. With our new Childhood Hunger Initiative, we are sending families home with more fresh, perishable foods. We expect to double or triple the amount of food we distributed with our former Food for Kids program, which provided weekend backpacks filled with food.”
According to Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap study, New Mexico is ranked number one among all states for childhood hunger, and tied for fourth for overall hunger.
“People in our state are struggling to put food on the table for their families,” Wattenbarger said. “That’s why we really need everyone in the community to take a moment each and every day to vote for Roadrunner Food Bank to receive this funding. And remember to invite your friends, family and co-workers to vote, too. We would really appreciate your support.”
To vote online, visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger daily from September 15 through October 5. You may cast a vote once each 24-hour period. Voters must have a Facebook account to participate. Find more details on the Fight Hunger, Spark Change Campaign at www.rrfb.org.