Headed by Lisa Lindquist, a student affairs specialist in the Dean of Students Office, the pantry has worked with Roadrunner food bank since February 2014. Roadrunner sends a truck to a mobile food pantry — usually once a month during the spring and fall semesters — to assist those students, staff and members of the UNM community who need help in stocking their kitchens, Lindquist said.
During the food distribution, Lindquist and her volunteers set up tables to allot food to those in need. The distribution is normally located in the South Campus near Lobo field.
“We pass out about 5,000 pounds of food to more than 100 households,” Lindquist said.
UNM employee Hallee Kells used to work at the Dean of Students Office and volunteered with the food pantry. She said the experience of helping students in need was fulfilling.
“When I volunteered with the food pantry in the past, I remember many students who received groceries were grateful for a way to make ends meet,” Kells said. “Especially in the winter when utility bills spike, a little extra grocery assistance can make the difference between having one meal a day or three.”
Approximately half of the food delivered is fresh or frozen produce, but also includes frozen proteins and meals, dry goods, and other staples, Lindquist said.
Recipients do not have to be UNM students, she said.
“We get students from CNM and residents of the neighborhood, too,” Lindquist said.
Applicants must fill out a short study, which helps the program track recipients and help find them in the unlikely event of a food recall, as well as to help determine the success of the program. People who do not receive government assistance but who are eligible can get advice on getting help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. The form will also help to determine if the recipient is eligible for the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, or government commodities. If a student wants to get food but cannot attend the distribution event, he or she may designate someone else to pick up the food, Lindquist said.
For more information about the Lobo Food Pantry, or to volunteer, contact the Dean of Students Office at 277-3361. The Roadrunner Food Bank accepts food donations on behalf of the Lobo Food Pantry.
Steve “Mo” Fye is a food writer and copy editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @UncaMo.