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Fighting hunger: Brewery, vineyard, distillery team up to benefit food bank

Marble Brewery, Lescombes Family Vineyards and Santa Fe Spirits have teamed up for Tap Into Craft, which benefits Roadrunner Food Bank. (Courtesy of Sandra Pacheco)

Tap Into Craft and help resolve hunger.

Marble Brewery, Lescombes Family Vineyards and Santa Fe Spirits are teaming up for the second year for the Tap Into Craft, which benefits Roadrunner Food Bank. The effort will run through September.

“What we’re doing is any placement that is made of any our products, we are going to be donating $50 per place,” said Sandra Pacheco, national sales director for Lescombes Family Vineyards. “We will then be donating $50 per display. Same with the on-premise restaurant accounts, so if they bring in any and all of our products, we will also be donating $50 per placement of all of our products to the Roadrunner Food Bank.”

A list of participating retailers and restaurants can be found at tapnmcraft.com.

“All they have to do is carry products from the three of us and then what we do in exchange is we give them signage that says this is a Tap into New Mexico craft program and if you buy these products these manufactures will make a donation to the Roadrunner Food Bank,” said Nate Tarantino, Marble Brewery vice president and director of sales and finance. “Last year, I think, it was something like 80 different stores, retailers that participated across the state. A certain amount of retailers across the state will perform tastings, talk about our beers, wines and spirits and talk about the program on a more personal basis as well.”

Events include Happy Hour and Sampling on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Whole Foods Market in Santa Fe and sampling events on Sept. 20 at Jubilation Wine & Spirits and on Sept. 27 at Paradise Liquors in Albuquerque.

“What we’re trying to do is call attention to New Mexico craft but also call attention to New Mexicans helping New Mexicans, and that’s what we’re hoping is these are new placements into new accounts or even accounts that might be serving one of our products that they may consider bringing in all three,” Pacheco said. “That is going to generate a donation to the Roadrunner Food Bank.”

Last year, then-Gov. Susana Martinez declared September as Tap Into Craft month. The proclamation has continued under current Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Tarantino said.

“This is our second year around,” said Colin Keegan, Santa Fe Spirits owner. “It gets bigger and better.”

Roadrunner Food Bank is grateful to Marble, Lescombes and Santa Fe Spirits and the participating retailers and restaurants and the Tap Into Craft effort. The timing is also right, being that September is Hunger Action Month.

“When it comes to New Mexico and hunger, we’re at the bottom of the list than other states,” said Mag Strittmatter, CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s something that we have to continue to keep our eye on and continue to work to turn that trend around. We are the only Feeding America partner and Feeding America food bank in the state of New Mexico. We have four other partner organizations that help in distributing. … We feed about 70,000 New Mexicans every week.”

Roadrunner Food Bank can stretch a dollar to provide meals for hungry New Mexicans.

“The other thing about the food bank is we can leverage a dollar,” Strittmatter said. “We can squeeze more meals out of a dollar than the private person going to the grocery store. For example, every $1 we invest in purchasing, we can turn that into five meals. That’s an attractive equation when you’re talking to sponsors about how far their contribution will go to really make an impact in our community.”

Sonya Warwick, Roadrunner Food Bank communications officer, hopes Tap Into Craft and Hunger Action Month inspires people to take action to help end hunger.

“It can be volunteering,” Warwick said. “It could be donating food. It could be donating funds, advocating, a note to our elected officials about programs and advocating programs that help people who suffer from hunger and poverty.”

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