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Success Stories

Feds Feed Families in New Mexico

Ernie Watson
USDA Rural Development staff wearing their “Feds Feed Families” shirts pose outside of the Roadrunner Food Bank.
New Mexico Rural Development Staff at Roadrunner Food Bank

After many months of diligently working apart to serve New Mexicans during the pandemic the opportunity to come together at our annual State Employee meeting was very exciting and we jumped at the chance.

The planning team discussed several ideas including a cookie contest, and salsa contest to having teams building a small structure made from small everyday office items.

Then someone suggested we should volunteer at the Roadrunner Food Bank here in Albuquerque to box food that will distributed to the hungry all over the state. The suggestion was an immediate hit for several reasons. 

First, it is a fun activity that lends itself naturally to team building and second it is in line with one of Secretary Vilsack’s ideas of public service. Called “Feds Feed Families” it is aimed at encouraging federal employees to give in-kind contributions of food, services, and time -- to food banks and pantries. This year’s campaign highlights a summer of giving, along with seasonal reminders to donate throughout the year.

The planning committee went to work. With ease the “Feds Feed Families” logo was downloaded and printed on special paper and ready to be ironed onto white t-shirts.

Soon our weeklong meeting began and on Tuesday of that week we went to the Roadrunner Food Bank to volunteer our time –and just as we arrived there was a power outage, and the food bank was shut down.

That didn’t discourage the Rural Development staff. We did what we always do, we find the yes, find a way to get it done. Collectively agreeing to come back on the last day of our state meeting and give our time to help feed hungry New Mexicans. We donned our hair nets, plastic gloves and aprons and began packaging individual bags of cereal and rice.

Ultimately, the packages were placed in care boxes of food that would be distributed to the hungry across to the state of New Mexico.

Roadrunner Food Bank Overview: Roadrunner Food Bank located in Albuquerque has been serving New Mexico's hungry since 1980. As the largest Food Bank in the state, RRFB distributes more than 30 million pounds of food every year to a network of hundreds of partner agencies and four regional food banks. Agencies served by RRFB include food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, low-income senior housing sites.

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