SANTA FE, N.M. — The Super Bowl is over. So is the Souper Bowl — Santa Fe’s signature late January fundraiser for northern New Mexico’s food bank, the Food Depot. This year’s Souper Bowl raised $80,000 for the organization.
That’s stunning for a town the size of Santa Fe. But there are a couple of compelling reasons for continuing to keep this nonprofit on your list of deserving charities in the near future.
One, of course, is the increased need for food to help the folks on the lower rungs of the economic ladder make ends meet. The Food Depot has seen a 30 percent increase in the need for extra food since the beginning of the economic turndown.
The other reason is more cheerful: The Food Depot has received a $1 million challenge grant that will enable it to build more warehouse space — including its own refrigerated storage that will make it possible for the nonprofit to accept and distribute significantly more fresh food to needy families.
Because the $1 million was given in the form of a challenge, the Food Depot needs to match the amount through donations from other sources. If successful, the organization will have $2 million — enough, say administrators, to double the amount of food the Food Depot distributes each year.
Enough, too, to significantly reduce its overhead. Simply by having its own cold storage facilities, for example, the nonprofit can save around $3,000 a month, money it now spends to rent short-term cold storage. Adequate storage space, especially for fresh produce and fruits, also means healthier choices for the families the Food Depot serves.
The Food Depot serves nine northern New Mexico counties and provides food to more than a hundred other nonprofits, including homeless shelters, shelters for victims of domestic violence, hot meal programs and smaller food banks. The Food Depot’s goal is to end hunger in our region.
Let’s help them achieve that goal.