ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They’re the neighbors everybody wants and the people any city would love to have.
Once a month, the Albuquerque couple has done something extraordinary to help others. Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, was the 10-year anniversary of their event, something that brings them to tears.
Every month, Irene Perea lines up before dawn along with many others in a church parking lot at Lomas and Edith in Martineztown. They’ll wait hours until 1 p.m, but don’t seem to mind.
“This is the best thing that happened to all of us. We get some good stuff that we can’t afford,” Perea said.
Perea says the mobile food bank has helped feed her five grandsons over the past decade, and she has two neighbors to thank.
Ten years ago, KRQE News 13 introduced viewers to Brad Brown and Michael Griego after they took their money for gym memberships and gave it to the Roadrunner Food Bank.
“A person came to our door and asked if he could sell his shoes to buy food for his wife and baby. I thought something has to be done,” Brad Brown said.
Since then, Brown and Griego say they’ve helped feed 32,000 families over ten years. To put that in perspective, it’s 1,612,000 pounds of food, which is the size of a nuclear submarine, fully loaded.
Griego, a teacher at Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic School, has brought ten of his classes to volunteer.
“My first class, they’re freshmen in college,” Griego said. “Hopefully they go into the community and do what’s best for the community and help each other out.”
While they’re proud of their work, they say it’s bittersweet.
“It’s happy and sad at the same time, because after ten years, you would have hoped we wouldn’t have this problem anymore,” Griego said.
It costs $200 a month to hold a mobile food bank. Brown and Griego say their friends and bosses pitch in to help.