Panic buying impedes Roadrunner Food Bank - Albuquerque Journal

Panic buying impedes Roadrunner Food Bank

Melanie Lewis, a volunteer with Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Community School Partnership, wears a face mask as a health precaution while sorting cans at the Roadrunner Food Bank. (Anthony Jackson/Albuquerque Journal)
Melanie Lewis, a volunteer with Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Community School Partnership, wears a face mask as a health precaution while sorting cans at the Roadrunner Food Bank. (Anthony Jackson/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Panic buying continues, and grocery store shelves seem to be emptied immediately after they’ve been restocked, as people face the possible need to isolate themselves at home for an unknown period to keep COVID-19 at bay.

That panic purchasing has had an impact on the Roadrunner Food Bank, since local grocery stores and retailers “haven’t had a lot of excess product for us to pick up,” said Roadrunner spokeswoman Sonya Warwick.

“People are going out and purchasing a lot of the items that would typically come to the food bank.”

As result, Roadrunner has reduced the number of pick-ups it does from its food partners because of the product shortages at those grocery stores and other retail sites, she said.

The good news is “we’re still getting food shipments in by tractor trailer load from sources that come primarily from out of state, and which is a large source of our food,” Warwick said. “That allows us to continue pushing food out to distribution points across the state.”

Roadrunner’s fleet of 15 tractor trailers provides food to hundreds of distribution sites across New Mexico, including other food banks, pantries, meal sites, senior centers and schools.

Empty shelves wait to be stocked at the Roadrunner Food Bank. Roadrunner provides food to hundreds of distribution sites across New Mexico.
Empty shelves wait to be stocked at the Roadrunner Food Bank. Roadrunner provides food to hundreds of distribution sites across New Mexico.

Typically, the food bank has about three weeks of food in reserve at its Albuquerque warehouse, and that has not changed dramatically, she said.

Roadrunner will accept donations from individuals of nonperishable food items but will put those donations on hold for several weeks before distributing them as a safety precaution to give time for any viruses on surfaces to die, Warwick said.

Monetary donations are even better.

“Those have the largest impact and allow us the flexibility to source food and whatever products we need to get during this crisis.” Further, she noted, for every one dollar monetary donation, the food bank can distribute up to five meals.

Roadrunner’s on-site medical referral food pantry will remain open, but only for people who have a chronic health condition, hunger and approved medical referrals. It is not available to the general public, she stressed.

Roadrunner also needs volunteers to sort and prep food in the warehouse. “Those helping hands are critical in our ability to get food out onto our trucks for delivery to communities across the state,” Warwick said.

In the last few weeks, about 200 volunteers have canceled. The food bank needs about 50 warehouse volunteers for any given shift. Under newly imposed social distancing safety rules, approved volunteers will work in groups of no more than 10, with the groups spaced widely apart in the warehouse, she said.

Volunteers are first screened verbally in a phone interview and told if they are feeling ill in the slightest not to come in. Those volunteers who are accepted are directed to wash their hands often, wear gloves and, depending on the types of foods they are handling, are provided lab coats.

“All of our sister food banks across the state, including Clovis, Farmington, Gallup and Santa Fe, are also seeing a reduction in volunteers,” Warwick said. “So we encourage people to volunteer to the extent that they are healthy and to the extent they are comfortable working for a local hunger relief organization in their communities.”

People who wish to volunteer at Roadrunner Food Bank should first register online at rrfb.org, or call 349-8841.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
What does a soil and water conservation district do?
ABQnews Seeker
From arroyo safety to fire prevention, ... From arroyo safety to fire prevention, this grant-funded agency literally covers a lot of ground
2
Half of city voters favor Keller's job performance
2021 city election
60% approval rating a year ago ... 60% approval rating a year ago likely due to pandemic response
3
Book merchant Jim Hoffsis was a pillar of Old ...
ABQnews Seeker
Korean War veteran was an admirer ... Korean War veteran was an admirer of military, supporter of local authors
4
Gonzales' current job approval stands at 34%
2021 city election
Democratic sheriff has little support from ... Democratic sheriff has little support from members of own party
5
NM film and television community honors Halyna Hutchins
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico's film and television community ... New Mexico's film and television community came together to remember cinematographer Halyna Hutchins at a candlelight vigil at Civic Plaza in Albuquerque on Saturday ...
6
Journal Poll: Keller has large lead over mayoral opponents
2021 city election
Gonzales, Aragon lag behind; runoff may ... Gonzales, Aragon lag behind; runoff may not be needed
7
Hours before showtime, Las Cruces High's band truck is ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Las Cruces High School Showcase ... The Las Cruces High School Showcase band's trip to Albuquerque this weekend started on a sour note. Hours before the Zia Marching Band Fiesta ...
8
Don't forget: 10-digit phone dialing to be required in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Starting Sunday, phone users across New ... Starting Sunday, phone users across New Mexico must include area codes when dialing to make all calls, including local calls that previously only required ...
9
States mostly defer to union guidance for on-set gun ...
ABQnews Seeker
Safety standards developed by film studios ... Safety standards developed by film studios and labor unions are the primary protection for actors and film crews when a scene calls for using ...