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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

YNMG & COVID: Did You Eat?

Vanessa Bowen
From Vanessa Bowen's home garden

In episode 51, we talk about food access, cooking and gardening during the pandemic. Being able to get healthy food is a problem for many people all the time in New Mexico, but it's become even more of a struggle these last weeks. Many people are working to make sure folks here have food despite new obstacles, like people buying up some items at grocery stores and disrupting the supply chain, social distancing, and extra sanitation precautions to avoid the spread of coronavirus. 

We hear from Sonya Warwick from Roadrunner Food Bank about some soup kitchens and food pantries closing their doors, and Roadrunner trying to make sure there's something available to people in those areas. Dolores Gonzales, policy and planning director with the Department of Aging and Long Term Services, tells us about the huge volunteer effort to get food boxes to seniors around the state. 

Vanessa Bowen—an Albuquerque-based graphic designer and DJ—tells us about why she made the decision to start a home garden, and how it's helping her family find some peace of mind right now. 

Mateo Carrasco with the SouthWest Organizing Project and Urban Agriculture Project—which creates gardens, many in the International District—talks about what it takes to grow food and why there's historiaclly been barriers to accessing to healthy food for many communities. 

Mayahuel Garza is an instructor with the Cooking For Health class in the South Valley at the First Choice Community Healthcare clinic and an organizer with the Agri-Cultura Network. She offers tips on what you can do with inexpensive, nutritious foods in your kitchen. 

And Erin Garrison with Food is Free Albuquerque talks about harvesting food from local yards and growers, and building free garden boxes for home gardens during the pandemic.

We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly/YNMGhub. And here's what we got from today.

  • Volunteer with the Department of Aging and Long Term Services by heading to nmaging.state.nm.us or call 1-800-432-2080.
  • Get info on community gardens and seed exchanges over at head HomeGrownnNewMexico.wordpress.com
  • Discover the good work being done at the SouthWest Organizing Project by heading to SWOP.net
  • To help out at the International District Urban Agriculture Project, scope bccUrbanAg.com
  • To donate your time, money, or goods at Roadrunner Food Bank, go to rrfb.org
  • For more info on Food Is Free Albuquerque, head to fifabq.org
  • Stay up-to-date with the Agri-Cultura Network here: agri-cultura.org

How are things going for you? We want to know. Share your quarantine stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund.

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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