Kira Howard, Director of Development at Santa Fe Food Depot, speaks at her local Kiwanis club.Photo provided
Kira Howard, director of development for Santa Fe-based Food Depot, presented to Los Alamos Kiwanis on August 19 about the organization’s goals and achievements.
Depot is 20 years old, the second largest food bank in the state, and serves nine counties in northern New Mexico. Their efforts range from feeding the hungry to providing baby products to families who can’t afford them.
Howard cited a recent study that revealed that about a third of children in Santa Fe experienced food shortages, and a newspaper article that said New Mexico ranked 50th. .th (out of 50 states) for the well-being of children. Additionally, she feels the pandemic is disproportionately affecting poor and minority groups, and the state’s recent wildfires and floods are creating new areas of need.
The Food Depot tackles these challenges with a dedicated staff and nearly 900 volunteers, trying to meet the needs of the hungry while preserving the privacy and dignity of individuals. They own recycled delivery trucks that serve communities and areas in need, and between August and December 2021, he packed 60,000 after-school meals into the ‘Kids Kitchen’. ” is operated.
When asked how and where he purchased the food, Howard said he has a contract with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) to provide food for the community. She added that Depot receives about $11 million in food from the government annually. Depot also works with grocers to conduct “food rescues” that take back food that is discarded because it’s unappealing, not selling, or sitting on the shelf a little too long.
Howard said the need for food is growing and that they are expanding their activities to meet the nutritional needs of those they serve.