You probably never wondered if there was a chance you could run out of food, or how to feed your family healthy meals on a very limited budget; but for many residents and members of tribal nations across New Mexico, these questions are a reality. Many families struggle with food insecurity daily. New Mexico ranks highest in the nation for rates of child hunger. McKinley County is number one in the state of New Mexico for child hunger and the most economically stressed, making it even harder for them to obtain the much-needed proteins in order to ensure a healthy diet for the children. One out of three children is in danger of going hungry.
Ranchers are also being impacted by severe drought and the rising costs to feed and process animals due to Covid caused worker shortages. Costs of products are going up, but ranchers are not seeing the profits from the increased prices. New Mexico livestock is purchased at low prices and shipped out-of-state for processing. Beef products are then shipped into state from unknown sources from across the country at high retail prices. There are four major meat processing companies that control 80% of the market as well as the prices paid for live cattle, squeezing rancher income. Higher costs of raising livestock are reducing the amount of animals ranchers can sustain. The cost of proteins has risen 30% over the past two years, the highest it’s been in 50 years.
There is a solution, and we invite you to be part of it!
The mission of the Wholehearted Food Fund is to combat food insecurity with local livestock. By providing services for donors to purchase animals and fund USDA inspected in-state processing, packaging, and delivery to local food pantries, a single donation will not only help supply in-need New Mexicans with healthy, high-quality animal protein, but also aid local farmers and ranchers.
The Wholehearted Food Fund is proud to be partnering with The Community Pantry in Gallup, New Mexico to provide much-needed animal protein sources to families across Northwestern New Mexico. The Community Pantry is a 501 (c) 3 organization, serving McKinley and Cibola counties.
Since the Wholehearted Food Funds inception in June 2020, we have been striving to provide a valuable service within the community of New Mexico for families and ranchers in need. We have been advancing our plan to combat hunger and inadequate access to grocery retailers by providing food banks with meat that may otherwise be unaffordable. For more information, please visit the Community Pantry page for the Wholehearted Food Fund: https://thecommunitypantry.org/wholehearted-food-fund/
Thanks to the generous contributions from donors, the Wholehearted Food Fund has surpassed its original 2020 fundraising goal by 45% and increased individual servings to 65,000. Your generosity has ensured that residents of various New Mexico communities have access to high quality meat protein that fosters quality and strength in their daily diet.
This year, we are looking at raising $250,000 which is approximately 100,000 servings! This past year has been extremely challenging between the drought and COVID; low-income New Mexicans and tribal nations need your support more than ever to combat food insecurity. More families are struggling to put food on the table and ranchers are struggling with a controlled market. Together, we can help ensure that families in need have access to food while local small livestock producers benefit as part of the solution.
Tim Willms and Alice Perez