The holidays are upon us, but that doesn’t mean everybody has reason to celebrate. Hunger and food insecurity are at an all-time high throughout the country, due to lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. What can we do to help? One way is to take part in a wonderful program that seeks to feed those hit hardest by our current circumstances. To that end, Lensic Performing Arts Center, The Food Depot, and Century Bank are hosting Fill the Seats, a call to help feed northern New Mexico this holiday season.
During the week of November 18 – 30, 2022, the Lensic’s lobby will house donation bins from The Food Depot with a goal of raising enough donations to fill all 821 seats in the theater with bags full of food. Donations can take the form of non-perishable food (canned goods, dry goods, bottled goods, etc.) or the cash equivalent, with just $25 providing enough for a week’s worth of food for a family of four. The reusable bags are generously provided Century Bank.
What is Food Insecurity?
According to the non-profit Feeding America, food insecurity is defined as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.” It can be caused by any number of things, including unemployment or low income, lack of affordable housing, or even chronic health conditions and lack of access to healthcare. The USDA reports that more than 34 million people, including 9 million children experience food insecurity in the United States.
In The Food Depot’s service area, 15% of people are food insecure, a rate that increases for New Mexico’s youth: a devastating 23% of children in The Food Depot’s service area are food insecure. The long-lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have worsened the reality for those struggling in New Mexico, with a growing number of families facing difficult decisions on a daily basis. The Food Depot works tirelessly to provide the basic necessity of food to our communities.
As the food bank for nine counties, The Food Depot provides hunger relief to more than 35,013 people experiencing hunger. The Food Depot offers food to persons experiencing food insecurity through strategic programs and a network of 80 nonprofit hunger-relief partners at more than 142 locations across northern New Mexico. During 2021, The Food Depot distributed enough food for 8.8 million meals to people experiencing food insecurity, including the most vulnerable of our community—children, seniors, working families, and those in ill health.
Doing Our Part
Drop-off dates and times for this crucial undertaking at the Lensic are November 18 – 30, 2022, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday, 12 – 4 p.m. Saturday, and extended hours on the final day, November 30, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Those making donations can park in the Lensic’s loading zone while dropping off, or call the box office at 505-988-1234 for assistance, and assistance will be provided.
For more information about Fill The Seats, and how you can help to lessen food insecurity in northern New Mexico during the holidays, visit the website.This article was posted by David Salcido