I ordered my turkey today. We’re having friends over for Thanksgiving, so it’s a big bird. One of my guests is a vegetarian and my daughter has severe food allergies, so we almost end up making three different meals. Figuring out how to fit all that food onto my dinner table with flair seems challenging. And then I think of how many of our children will be hungry on Thanksgiving. This statistic is startling, so brace yourself. More than one in four children in New Mexico is hungry.
No, this is not the blog post to remind you to be grateful. I don’t want to share that nutritious food costs more than processed junk foods or point out that poverty is the leading cause of type 2 diabetes. This blog is not about food deserts or about a Farm Bill that cut $8.7 billion in food stamp benefits while increasing crop subsidies by $6 billion for agribusiness.
The definition of food security is “access by all people, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life.” There are 48 million Americans, who live in food insecure households. Let me put that statistic to you another way for your consideration. That’s 14% of our country’s population that does not have enough access to enough food.
New Mexico children suffer more. In Luna, Taos, Cibola and Torrance counties, 35% of children are hungry. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live on $4.93 per day SNAP benefits, you can check out this film about living on food stamps. Or better yet, take the challenge yourself.
Our employees at Verde have chosen to donate their tips to Bienvenidos Outreach for the rest of the year, a locally based charity that distributes food assistance to hundreds of people each month. If you’ve gotten this far in our email, you may be feeling inspired to act, too.
Here are a few organizations making a difference:
- The Food Depot distributes 4.4 million pounds of food a year, many of it through partner agencies like Bienvenidos Outreach.
- NM Appleseed is working on food policy changes to alleviate poverty and hunger.
- The SF Farmers Market Institute doubles SNAP benefits, so families on food stamps can buy more fresh and locally grown produce.
- The SF Community Foundation’s MoGro initiative increases access to healthy affordable foods on native lands and pueblos.
This short list is just a small sampling of great nonprofits fighting hunger in New Mexico. No matter how big your bird this season, we encourage you to join us in fighting hunger in New Mexico.