Desert Harvest is a community resource fighting hunger and food waste in New Mexico.
Desert Harvest is Fighting Food Waste
More than 1/3 of America’s food ends up in the trash, which is a huge shame because so many people are going hungry. Desert Harvest is trying to change these statistics by rescuing food in central New Mexico.
Adelante Desert Harvest Food Rescue Program works with grocery stores and restaurants to rescue surplus food that might otherwise go to waste. That can mean left over lasagna from your favorite restaurant, salads from a grocery deli, or even bagged salads that aren’t getting used quickly enough. Desert Harvest provides food-safe packaging and arranges volunteers to pick up surplus food. Our process makes it easy for restaurants and other food partners to donate. The food is then delivered to partner agencies like shelters or food pantries that distribute it directly to families in need.
Desert Harvest rescues approximately 1.3 million meals a year, getting it to people in need. If you’d like to help reduce food waste and feed hungry families in New Mexico, we’d love your support. Donate or volunteer with us!
Provide Volunteer Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Desert Harvest was actually started with a dual purpose — to fight hunger in New Mexico and to provide valuable roles for people with disabilities as volunteers. Desert Harvest Food Rescue is one of the community resources offered through Adelante Development Center, a nonprofit organization that supports services for people with disabilities, seniors, and disadvantaged populations. Through Adelante, volunteers with disabilities, with their support staff, help to deliver food to our recipient agencies several days each week.
Initially, Adelante program participants handled all the volunteering when Desert Harvest began in 2001. Today, we pick up far too much food for one organization to do all the donation runs. Although People with disabilities continue to enjoy giving back to their community through Desert Harvest, the recipient agencies and other volunteers assist with the pick up and delivery of rescued food.
Desert Harvest is Fighting Hunger
Hunger is one of the most persistent and troubling social issues in New Mexico. We wanted to be part of the solution. Desert Harvest works differently than most other hunger organizations. We collect both prepared and perishable surplus food. Food banks often accept only canned and dried foods that are shelf stable, but Desert Harvest was trying to take advantage of an existing food source that might otherwise go to waste. That plan has grown far beyond our wildest dreams. During our first few months, we collected about 1500 meals for just a handful of organizations. Today, we coordinate the distribution of over 1 million meals a year, helping 10-20 organizations every month and thousands of hungry people. Best of all, since Desert Harvest uses an existing food source, our costs are limited to things like food-safe packaging and transportation so it costs just 4 cents for every meal. A bargain in the fight for hunger! Your donation goes a long way through Desert Harvest, and your contributions help multiple organizations.
Did you know that New Mexico ranks among the worst for child and adult hunger in our country? One in four children is going hungry. Over 14% of our population doesn’t know where their next meal might come from. Those staggering hunger issues hurt New Mexico’s educational outcomes and health prospects for people of all ages. We at Desert Harvest think we can do better. We are happy to be fighting hunger in our home state. We’d love for you to get involved, too.