Food De­pot called one of best food banks in U.S.

The Taos News - - VALLE VISTA - By Andy Stiny [email protected]­i­

A Santa Fe-based re­gional food bank that pro­vides more than 450,000 meals each month to fam­i­lies in need in nine North­ern New Mex­ico coun­ties, in­clud­ing Taos, has been named this week as one of best food banks in the U.S.

The 24/7 Wall St. fi­nan­cial news web­site re­cently ranked the Food De­pot as No. 26 out the top 40 food banks.

The rank­ings were cal­cu­lated us­ing IRS data and other in­for­ma­tion com­piled by the web­site Char­ity Nav­i­ga­tor, tak­ing into ac­count trans­parency, ac­count­abil­ity and the fi­nan­cial health of each or­ga­ni­za­tion, ac­cord­ing to 24/7 Wall St.’s ar­ti­cle, “The 40 Best Food Banks in Amer­ica.”

“We are de­lighted to see this,” Food De­pot Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Sherry Hooper said Wed­nes­day. “I at­tribute the honor to our fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and our trans­parency.

“I be­lieve the honor shows that the Food De­pot is an ex­cel­lent ste­ward of the fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions given to us,” Hooper added.

Pri­vate and com­mu­nity-run food banks are “vi­tally im­por­tant in the fight against hunger,” the 24/7 Wall St. ar­ti­cle said, adding that stud­ies show “ap­prox­i­mately 25 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing in work­ing house­holds ... use food banks, the ma­jor­ity as part of their reg­u­lar sur­vival strat­egy.”

The Food De­pot’s lat­est au­dit showed 94 per­cent of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s rev­enues go to pro­grams ver­sus ad­min­is­tra­tive over­head, Hooper said.

“Our donors, when giv­ing to non­prof­its, look at pro­grams ver­sus ad­min­is­tra­tive costs,” she said.

The Food De­pot dis­trib­utes food through seven di­rect pro­grams and pro­vides food to 145 part­ner non­prof­its, in­clud­ing food pantries, shel­ters, soup kitchens, and youth and se­nior pro­grams. While the Food De­pot pro­vides food year-round, de­mand in­creases dur­ing the hol­i­days. It be­gins pre­par­ing for Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas ear­lier than oth­ers, Hooper said, be­cause its part­ner agen­cies need time to pre­pare and dis­trib­ute food to their clients.

Luis Sánchez Saturno/New Mex­i­can file photo

The Santa Fe-based Food De­pot, which pro­vides food to fam­i­lies in nine North­ern New Mex­ico coun­ties, in­clud­ing Taos and Col­fax, has been named this week as one of best food banks in the United States.

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