SANTA FE, N.M., Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Many of today’s social problems can be easily identified and recognized — poverty, unemployment and alcohol abuse, for instance.  But there is one critical social concern that is easily overlooked and unrecognized:  Hunger.  That’s why Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino partners with the Food Depot each year in an effort to raise awareness of the statewide need for food, and to stock their pantry.  September 4 kicks off the annual «Coins for Cans» Food Drive, marking the eighth consecutive year of this community effort.

«We recognize the need in our own community,» according to Lisa Hoch, Marketing Manager for Buffalo Thunder.  «And though many of us can ‘go without’ certain things in life, food should never be one of those.  It’s our goal to help bridge the gap between hunger and health.»

The «Coins for Cans» Food Drive works like this:  Every Tuesday from now through November 19, guests and gamers are invited to bring five cans of non-perishable food to Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino.  That donation earns $10 in slot play which can be used immediately.  All canned goods will be delivered to the Food Depot, and a portion of the proceeds from various on-site entertainment events will be donated to the organization as well.

But why is the need so prevalent in New Mexico?  And what does hunger actually look like?  Those are questions many people ask, and Jill Dixon, Development Director for The Food Depot provides keen insight.

«Hunger is often hidden, but it affects one in every five people in our state.  One in three of those are children,» Dixon said.  «It’s a growing concern.»

A typical scenario of hunger in New Mexico is a household of six, added Dixon.  The father works a seasonal construction job and the mother can’t afford to work outside the home, since she’s caring for four kids.  Then comes an economic downturn and the construction work they relied on dries up.  Every month the budget gets tighter, and no work means no income.  No income means no food.  This can and does happen in communities all around us,» she said.

In fact, Dixon said, 52% of those served by The Food Depot are working adults.  Of the remaining 48% served, approximately 80% are caregivers to family members or loved ones who cannot care for themselves.

«That’s why we count on the support of Buffalo Thunder to help us make a difference,» Dixon adds.  «They are one of the most engaged, present and proactive donors that we have had the privilege to partner with.  They feel very rooted in the community, and recognize how our community suffers.  This is an organization that is utterly philanthropic and have a strong commitment to making life better.»

A simple food drive, Dixon said, has grown into an extensive partnership over the years, offering food, financial support and countless volunteers.

«We feel so fortunate, and we see every day how the community benefits because of their involvement,» Dixon said.

It’s no coincidence that the Coins for Cans food drive takes place every autumn, said Hoch.

«The fall season is typically one of abundance,» she said.  «By raising awareness of hunger in our community at this time of year, we make a lasting impact in hearts and minds.  We remind people that hunger is present every single day of the year.»

About Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino: Link:

About The Food Depot: Link:

The Food Depot fosters healthy communities by engaging a network of partners and developing solutions to create a hunger-free northern New Mexico. As the food bank for nine counties, The Food Depot provides hunger relief to over 55,000 people experiencing hunger. The Food Depot addresses the crisis of hunger through a combination of three direct service programs and support of a network of over 145 partner nonprofit programs. Each month, The Food Depot provides more than 430,000 meals to people in need—the most vulnerable of our community—children, seniors, working families, and those in ill health.

Contact:  Betsy Donnelly
Phone:  913 208 5400
Email: [email protected]

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SOURCE Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino