Whether it was by donating money or food, or by volunteering their time with regional nonprofits battling hunger, employees definitely rose to the challenge, donating $68,842 and 3,283 pounds of food to Laboratory partner The Food Depot, and helping at six different LANL-organized volunteer events.
The donations translate to 278,104 meals to Northern New Mexicans.
How Lab employees gave
The monetary contributions were received through the Laboratory's online donation tool, which employees can use to make one-time or ongoing donations through payroll deductions.
For the food donations, many employees volunteered to serve as champions and requested food bins for their work locations, resulting in more than 25 collection points across Laboratory sites in Los Alamos and Santa Fe. Employees donated nonperishable items such as beans, pasta, oatmeal, peanut butter, tuna and nuts.
“A very big thank-you to the employee champions who requested bins, managed donation drop-offs, and helped share and promote the food drive within their teams, groups and divisions,” said Kayla Norris of the Community Partnerships Office, who organized the drive.
"This is exactly what we hope to accomplish by organizing employee drives: for our employees to connect and come together, all while paying it forward to our local communities. Whether it’s through their paychecks, their tangible food donations or their time, it all makes a huge difference in our region”
Volunteering in person
A total of 69 volunteers — including employees, their friends and family, and senior Laboratory leaders — rolled up their sleeves and got to work at six volunteer sessions with nonprofits tackling food insecurity. Some helped prepare to-go lunch boxes and help organize and clean at the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen in Española; others prepped and served a meal to around 80 guests at the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete’s Place in Santa Fe. A third group put together weekend snack bags for elementary school students supported through the Food 4 Kids Program in Española.
The Food Depot hosted three LANL volunteer events at which employees packed 658 pantry bags (seven pallets’ worth), and prepared 8,562 food bags for the nonprofit’s Stamp Out Hunger program.
Battling the hunger crisis
Headquartered in Santa Fe, The Food Depot serves nine counties in Northern New Mexico: Colfax, Harding, Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos and Union. The nonprofit addresses the crisis of hunger through a combination of mobile client-choice pantries, after-school meal programs, drive-through food distributions and support of a network of more than 80 nonprofit organizations with a food-security focus.
In 2022 The Food Depot distributed more than 8.3 million meals, with fruits and vegetables making up more than 50% of all food provided.