ROTARY CLUB OF LOS ALAMOS NEWS
With the community’s help, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos will join with Meals of Hope and Crossroads Bible Church to pack 40,000 meals on Saturday, Sept. 12, to help alleviate hunger in Northern New Mexico. Packaged food will be donated to The Food Depot in Santa Fe for distribution to LA Cares and other Northern New Mexico charitable food outlets.
Club President Laura Gonzales has chosen this as her Presidential Project because “food insecurity is a critical issue in New Mexico all the time. The needs now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are staggering. Rotary is a service organization and we are proactively addressing this problem.”
Gonzales’s concerns are well-founded. The Food Depot’s parent organization, Feeding America, recently collected national data to project food insecurity during the pandemic. New Mexico ranked second highest for projected overall childhood food insecurity and fifth highest in the nation for projected overall food insecurity.
Needs have increased dramatically since mid-March. Ordinarily The Food Depot provides over 500,000 pounds of food each month to a network of non-profit hunger-relief partners and to individuals and families through direct service programs. However, these are extraordinary times. In April alone, The Food Depot distributed over 1,000,000 pounds of food, almost twice its usual distribution, enough for over 835,000meals. Overall, between March and the end of June, The Food Depot provided over 3,300,000 meals.
To help alleviate these overwhelming needs, The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recently applied for and received a generous grant from Rotary District 5520 and Rotary International to sponsor a Peace and Health project to provide 40,000 meals to families in need in Northern New Mexico. Working with Meals of Hope, a Florida-based food-packing organization that “inspires and empowers communities to come together to end hunger,” and with Crossroads Bible Church of Los Alamos, the Club is recruiting volunteers for Saturday, Sept. 12, to pack bags of ready-to-prepare meals of beans, rice, and macaroni and cheese. Each bag contains enough for six servings and is labeled with cooking instructions. Seasoning packets are also included.
A review of the Rotary Club-Meals of Hope event follows:
Saturday, September 12th
Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road in Los Alamos; park on the west side, enter the church there.
- 9:00 – 11:00 one shift of 48 Rotarians, high school students, and other community members
- 11:00 – 12:00 bring-your-own-lunch break
- 12:00 – 2:00 one shift of 48 Rotarians, high school students, and other community members
—All COVID-19 mandates will be followed. Hairnets, gloves, and masks will be provided; hand sanitizer and bottles of water will be available. Temperatures will be taken with contactless thermometers before the public is allowed to enter.
—Volunteers can expect to stand for two hours as they work.
—During both shifts, volunteers will be posted at tables in the church’s lower level, packing bags of ready-to-prepare meals of beans, rice, and macaroni and cheese, with seasonings.
—Each bag contains enough for six servings and is labeled with instructions.
—The packaged foods will be given for distribution to The Food Depot in Santa Fe, which also provides food to LA Caresand all of Northern NM.
—The Rotary Club-Meals of Hope Committee members are President Laura Gonzales, Alison Pannell, Natalia Tretiak, Keith Lewis, and Linda Hull.
—President Laura Gonzales has provided sign-up sheets at the link below.
For more information about the event, please call Laura Gonzales, (505) 412-5880. Those who are unable to attend, but would like to support the work of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation to Los Alamos Rotary 1312, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation, at PO Box 986, Los Alamos, NM 87544.