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State Awards Dollars To Groups To Address Food Deserts

Food staples are stored at The Food Depot in Santa Fe awaiting distribution to people in need.
Kevin Meerschaert
Food staples are stored at The Food Depot in Santa Fe awaiting distribution to people in need.

$10 million dollarshas been allocated by the state for food distribution to at-risk individuals and families in New Mexico.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made the announcement at The Food Depotin Santa Fe.

The funding comes from the state budget and will be used by The Food Depot and other organizations in New Mexico to bring fresh food staples to the state’s food deserts.

Lujan Grisham says she and the state legislature have been working to end hunger in New Mexico.

“We are clear that to get at any number of issues that create strife and struggle and insecurity we have to get to the root causes of poverty,” she said.  “We have to recognize that far too many families in New Mexico and far too many families in America are hungry and that host struggles and issues continue to get hard.”

The Food Depot was awarded $1.4 million to stand up the Food Mobile Dos, a mobile grocery store that will serve 43 rural, frontier and Tribal sites in Northern New Mexico.

Executive Director Sherry Hooper says the mobile food pantry will go far in helping people in remote areas get access to healthy food alternatives, who now can only find their food at places like gas station convenience stores.

“The Food Mobile meets people where they are with what they need,” she said. “The Food Mobile is an effective mechanism to offer nutritious food utilizing a choice-based approach to hunger relief to create equity and food access of clients’ choice. The Food Depot will develop a service route across seven of its most rural counties.”     

The Food Mobile Dos will be free to families who are in need. It’s expected to provide over 262,000 meals monthly.

The Food Depot hopes to have the truck in place by the end of the year and be able to serve rural New Mexican families beginning in January.