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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:25 pm 
Southwest New Mexico has a higher than average food insecurity rate and this means that many residents will have to forgo having a heartwarming holiday feast in order to afford to keep the lights on or the house warm.

According to Feeding America, the nation has an average food insecurity rate of just over 13 percent. Luna County has a rate of 20 percent and Catron county has an 18 percent food insecurity rate. Additionally, both Grant and Hidalgo county report rates higher than the national average. Food insecurity is a term used by the United States Department of Agriculture and other organizations to describe a lack of access to affordable and nutritious food.

During the holiday season, the Southwest New Mexico Food Policy Council is asking communities to celebrate and support their local food pantries while they work to address food insecurity. According to research by the Southwest New Mexico Food Policy Council (SWNMFPC), about three quarters of food pantry recipients polled indicated they rely on the food pantry system on a month-to-month basis. Additionally, about half of the recipients either eat less food than they should to make food supplies last, or they forgo paying bills to purchase food.

Survey results also showed 24 percent of recipients are age 65 or older; 45 percent are disabled or live with someone who is disabled; and 32 percent have children in the home. Many recipients are working poor, often juggling more than one job in order to make ends meet.

While this problem may seem staggering, the SWNMFPC knows that if everyone in the region works together, communities can ensure no one goes hungry and that everyone has access to enough dignified, healthy foods. The Council believes it is important to give funds to local organizations serving the local population, as many national organizations solicit donations in the region but only fraction of the funds donated to may be used in the region.

There are dozens of organizations across the region that are working tirelessly to find short and long term solutions to the hunger issue. You can help this issue during the most challenging time of the year by donating your time or money to one of several locations. These organizations need your help not only to purchase enough food but to make sure they are able to purchase enough of the right foods.
The Council extends heartfelt thanks to the following organizations for their hard work, dedication and compassion during the holiday season and around the year and encourages each reader to make a donation or volunteer their time this holiday season:

Catron Food Pantries- Po.Box 43, Datil, NM 87821
The Volunteer Center of Grant County- 501 E 13th st., Silver City, NM 88061
Deming Helping Hands- 3801 Raymond Reed Blvd., Deming, NM 88030
Silver City Gospel Mission- 111 S Texas St., Silver City, NM 8801
Spirit of Hidalgo- 208 E Motel Drive, Lordsburg, NM 88045

For more information on Southwest New Mexico Food Policy Council contact Ben Rasmussen at (575) 597-0032 or email: brasmussen@swchi.org

# # #
Contact: Ben Rasmussen
Address: 301 W. College Ave. Ste 16, Silver City, NM 88061
Office: (575) 654-5130
Email: brasmussen@swchi.org

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