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Food Banks Short On Canned Goods

Courtesy of Roadrunner
Roadrunner Food Bank warehouse

Food banks around the country haven’t been getting the kind of big donations of nonperishable food they count on. Here in New Mexico, employees at Roadrunner Food Bank are nervous about low levels of canned and boxed meals in the warehouse.

Roadrunner Food Bank has a huge distribution hub that food pantries, soup kitchens, group home shelters, senior sites and schools all over New Mexico draw from. Large networks around the U.S. provide much of the donated food. For some reason, nonperishable items just haven’t been coming in for months now.

Sonya Warwick, a spokesperson at Roadrunner, said fresh produce is still being delivered, but it’s not enough. "Not every food pantry across the state, for example, has refrigeration, so having access to nonperishable foods allows food pantries that don’t have access to refrigeration to take that product and distribute in their community."

Warwick said they’re unsure why there’s a shortage, but she’s concerned because anywhere between 400 and 500 local organizations heavily rely on Roadrunner each week. Times are lean, she said, and she doesn't know what things will look like in the coming months if those canned goods don’t start rolling in.

Protein items are in especially high demand—canned meats, peanut butter, almond butter. Canned fruits and vegetables are also key staples there, she said. Anyone who wants to pitch in can bring a bag of food directly to Roadrunner Food Bank during business hours.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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