|Rio Arriba County, New Mexico |
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In Rio Arriba County, 12 percent of residents—4,870—suffer food insecurity, Martinez reports. The county has nine food pantries. five of which distribute food at least once a month. Five of the pantries are mobile, helping residents in areas where it is difficult to get to a grocery.
Martinez writes: "Hunger is a hidden crisis in the U.S. and New Mexico, said Sherry Hooper, executive director of the Santa Fe Food Depot, a group that’s responsible for distributing 400,000 meals a month to nine Northern New Mexico counties, including Rio Arriba." Hooper said they don't like to use the term "food insecurity," telling Martinez, “Here, we say people are hungry.”
Carly Benson and her husband are two of about 50 people who make weekly visits to one pantry, Martinez reports. She told him of choosing the food pantry over the grocery store, “Gas is expensive, it costs a lot to get out here. You have to make your trips worthwhile. We paid bills with this paycheck, no groceries. This is grocery shopping for us.” (Read more)