More than $80K raised for food bank during 15-day campaign

By Manette Newbold Fisher

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Employees meet initial donation goal in less than a day

donation campaign logo
SANDIA GIVES — Sandia has a long-standing relationship with the Roadrunner Food Bank and chose to support it this month as communities across the state face an unprecedented need for food.

Sandia employees were given 15 days, but it only took an hour and a half on April 1 to raise $15,000, the amount the Labs pledged to match from its corporate contribution program for a donation to the Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Inspired by the generosity of the workforce and the speed with which the initial goal was met, the Community Involvement team upped the match to $25,000 that afternoon. The second goal was reached by April 2, and employees continued. At the time of printing, employees had donated more than $57,000, meaning more than $82,000 will help families across the state through food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

“I’m in awe of the people who work at the Labs,” said Katrina Wagner, who works in Sandia’s Community Involvement department and helped plan the campaign. “The email announcements combined with communicators pushing the message resulted in incredible results from our generous employees.”

An initial announcement about the campaign hit email boxes around 12:11 p.m. on April 1, letting employees know that the food bank has seen more than a 400% increase in web traffic for people seeking food assistance in recent weeks. Employees were invited to donate through April 15, and every dollar up to $15,000 would be doubled. By 1:38 p.m., the goal was met, and contributions continued to roll in. By the end of business that day, employees had contributed nearly $19,000 for the food bank.

Without further communications, the $25,000 donation goal was met the next morning.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the food bank is seeing an unprecedented demand from people who are newly in need of assistance at the same time as grocery store donations have decreased, said Community Involvement manager Amy Tapia. This is a result of people purchasing excess food from local stores that would otherwise have made its way to the food bank.

Amy said Sandia has a long-standing partnership with New Mexico’s Roadrunner, for volunteer opportunities and financial donations. Roadrunner has a network of 500 partners throughout New Mexico and is well positioned to respond to emergencies.

Tradition of generosity, volunteering

volunteers at foodbank
MAKING A DIFFERENCE — Linda Gallagher, left, and Tracy Flynn sort protein bars during a Sandia volunteer event at the Roadrunner Food Bank. Employees can check the Community Involvement website for information on volunteer opportunities. (Photo by Katrina Wagner)

For many years, Sandia employees have taken frozen turkeys to work to donate before Thanksgiving. They have also volunteered to help sort food at Roadrunner for Stamp Out Hunger, the largest single-day food drive in the United States, and they have participated in virtual food drives during summer months.

Volunteer events often fill up lightning fast, said Katrina, who arranged for a group of 35 Sandia employees to sort food at Roadrunner on March 28. She said the spots filled up in minutes. Now the Labs will have groups volunteering at the food bank every Friday in April. Pre-registration is required.

Even though the initial goals have been met, employees can still contribute to the Roadrunner Food Bank fundraiser until April 15.

Additional employee donation and volunteer opportunities can be found on the Community Involvement website.