The Roadrunner Food Pantry's delivery truck rolled into the First Baptist Church parking lot, located just off Spruce St. next to the U.S. Post Office. About 17 volunteers were found darting between pallets and boxes to prepare for the families already formed in a line and ready for a mix of bread, soup, coffee, beans and, of course, red chile sauce.
"There's a passage in Luke where it says Jesus had compassion for the crowd because they were hungry," Pastor Joe Byers said. "I'm excited we can do this, but am heartbroken to see the need."
His church plans to hold the mobile food pantry the first Friday of each month in cooperation with Roadrunner. The non-profit organization helps other groups organized food pantries to fight hunger around the state, but especially in rural areas in Southwestern New Mexico.
"The cost is minimal to us. We can do 50 families for $150," he said. "Wow, you can't beat that."
Local resident Kim Little was one of the faces among the crowd receiving food that afternoon, having stopped in after driving by and realizing that she could "use the help." But for her, the food will go toward more than just her personal sustenance.
"There's an elderly couple that I help," she explained. "I'll split my stuff with them."
Roadrunner organizers are hoping others will follow the example of First Baptist
"I've been reaching out and talking to lots of organizations," Nancy Barnes-Smith, manager of Community Relations for Roadrunner, said. "The response has been mostly positive. I think we're going to be able to do a lot in the next sixth months."
For more information on the mobile food pantries or other Roadrunner programs, contact Barnes-Smith at (575) 680-1900.
Matt Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org