A virtual concert raised enough money to provide nearly 3.5 million meals as hunger has tightened its grip on the state during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Feb. 13, the Food for Love concert, which featured more than 60 musicians and artists including Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett and The Chicks, helped raise over $860,000 for New Mexico’s food banks.
“The five New Mexico food banks are grateful for the tremendous help provided by the Food for Love benefit,” said Sherry Hooper, executive director of The Food Depot in Santa Fe. “Not only did the concert raise enough in funds for almost 3.5 million meals for hungry New Mexicans, the event raised awareness of the severity of hunger in our state.”
The Food Depot, which serves nine counties in Northern New Mexico, says it can buy four nutritious meals with $1. Roughly 1 in 3 children and 1 in 5 adults in New Mexico are food insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to enough nutritious food.
The Food Depot distributed 804,577 meals each month in 2020, compared to 439,195 in 2019. The organization typically budgets $800,000 to purchase food but has spent $2.3 million since the start of the pandemic, Hooper said.
“We created Food for Love to highlight New Mexico’s hunger crisis. While we’re extremely proud of the money raised, we know that the crisis continues,” the concert’s organizers said in a news release.
While the music is over, Food for Love is still collecting donations at FoodForLove.org.