Food bank short on supplies

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Nancy Taylor, director of Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, places a box on an empty shelf Thursday. Taylor said the food bank is short 46 pallets of commodities and only have 12 pallets on hand, rendering the food bank unable to provide food in July.

Jared Tucker

Local distributors of food for the needy said Wednesday there is just not enough to go around this month and there are serious questions about availability in August.

Nancy Taylor, director of the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico in Clovis, said her organization did not receive enough food from the New Mexico Commodity Bureau to distribute to residents this month.

[image#2, align=right, size=medium] “We never know what the government is going to assign us,” Taylor said, “And, will we have commodities for next month? We certainly hope so.”

Taylor said what little food the bank did receive from the government was held back to combine with next month’s supply, to ensure each family gets the 10 pounds of food it customarily gives away.

The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico generally trucks food to locations like Portales, which is distributed to 310 residents at the memorial building each month, according to Gwendolyn Plexico, who coordinates the Portales distribution.

According to Taylor, the shortage happens more often than she would like. She said about three years ago, the supply only permitted five distributions the entire year.

“If we have 10 or 11 distributions in a year, we’re real lucky,” Taylor said, noting her agency has received four phone calls from concerned recipients. She said most recipients are understanding when there is a shortage.

Lupe Montoya, La Casa Senior Center coordinator in Portales, said the Salvation Army in Roswell supplies food distributed there, and she encourages people to apply to receive a box.

“After the staff reviews their proof of income and application, the applicant gets a food box right there. If it’s found later that they don’t qualify, then a letter gets sent to them. But they still get a food box that day,” said Montoya, adding she distributes food boxes to about 245 recipients every month.

Montoya encourages seniors over age 60 to come apply for commodities. Parents with children under age five who are not receiving WIC benefits are also eligible.