LOS LUNAS—Multiple Valencia County families were provided food last Thursday through the first Drive Through Mobile Distribution put on by the Roadrunner Food Bank in Los Lunas.
The event was held at the Starlight Cinema’s parking lot but the location is likely to change for the next drive-through distribution on Thursday, May 7.
Sonya Warwick, the communications officer with Roadrunner Food Bank, said a total of 432 households and 1,600 individuals received food during the distribution.
“The concept is that people pull in for this distribution in their car,” Warwick said. “They open their own car door and the volunteer places those food items in the back of the car.”
Under normal circumstances for an event like this, rows of tables set up with food items accessible so people can walk through and pick certain items that work for their household.
“Because of COVID-19, we’ve really had to be conscious about how we distribute food,” she said. “All the way at the warehouse, we’ve had to basically pre-box everything.”
Chris O’Conner is the internship coordinator for the Los Lunas Schools, and was one of those who wanted to give back and volunteer for the event.
“So much of what I do is community relations. I’m very thankful that Roadrunner Food Bank has come down to do this because we know there is so much food insecurity in our community,” O’Conner said.
“As educators, we think about how we can help our kids. The content and curriculum are important but there’s so many other things that are important like if they’re safe and if they’re getting enough food.”
Tony Villalovos — another volunteer at last week’s food distribution — used to do something similar to this when he was the chief at the Meadow Lake Fire Department.
“There’s always a need in Valencia County, especially now. I’ve been blessed more times today than I think I’ve been in my entire life,” Villalovos said. “Right now, (Roadrunner Food Bank) needs volunteers. If people could volunteer more often, I think this would’ve gone a lot quicker.”
Volunteer duties range from registering clients, loading cars with food and directing parking lot traffic. Warwick said volunteers should be able to lift 25 pounds of food packed in boxes.
New Mexico State Rep. Gail Armstrong was also one of the volunteers on Thursday morning.
“I’m used to going to so many meetings and going around the state all the time that I’m going stir crazy,” Rep. Armstrong said. “Anything we can do to help, this feels like I can do something and I absolutely love it. Volunteer here if you can, and if you get your stimulus checks, if at all possible, spend them in your community.”
To learn more about volunteering for the next Mobile Food Pantry event, visit the Roadrunner Food Bank website or email the event organizer Silvia Jewell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently, 28 volunteers are needed for the May 7 event.