Program has big impact on feeding ABQ homeless

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city says a program to help the homeless is already making a big impact by taking unused food from major events and getting it to the people who need it most.

The food rescue program got off the ground during last year’s International Balloon Fiesta.

“What was happening was there are a lot of events that are catered, pre-paid for, but when there’s inclement weather, that food goes to waste,” Albuquerque Environmental Health Supervisor Theresa Alling told KRQE News 13.

Alling got together with Road Runner Food Bank to put a stop to that, helping the organization navigate regulatory obstacles.

Now food from Balloon Fiesta, Isotopes home games, Freedom Fourth and more ends up at Noon Day Ministries, Joy Junction and St. Martin’s.

It’s not only changed the menu for feeding programs across town.

“The quality of the food is just amazing, again things that come out of the Isotopes are just things the homeless community don’t see that often,” Danny Whatley, director of Noon Day Ministries, told News 13. “It’s cut our costs by about 35 to 40 percent.”

Whatley said that means thousands of dollars can now go to other services for their clients.

According to the city, more than 13,000 pounds of food has been rescued since the program started. After the Freedom Fourth fireworks show, 2,000 pounds of food was picked up.

“It’s a win-win for everybody because it’s taking the food out of the landfills and disposal and we’re able to put it on plates the very next day,” Whatley said.

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