With just one email, Staff Councilor Mark Reynolds was able to round up more than 100 volunteers for a Roadrunner Food Bank volunteer event, broken into three shifts from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., on Monday, Dec. 23 during UNM’s winter break. 

Reynolds decided to volunteer eight hours of his time one day during the university’s winter break and thought that he could encourage other staff councilors to join him. After reading Reynold’s email, several councilors forwarded his request to their constituents and many enthusiastically answered the call.

“I thought we would get a few volunteers but UNM staff came to the call and we now have over 100 – this just shows that we are a community that cares, a city within a city,” Reynolds said. As we wind down for the year it is a time to reflect on ‘how can I do something to pay it forward?’  I decided on the New Mexico Roadrunner food event because it was something that was a good cause and asking my staff peers at UNM this would be just that, a way to pay it forward.” 

The staff community service event at Roadrunner Food Bank will make it possible for Roadrunner Food Bank to receive and transport more than 26 million pounds of food annually. Roadrunner distributes this food through a statewide network of four smaller food banks, our own direct service programs, and more than 600 emergency food pantries, group homes, low-income day care centers, shelters, and hot meal programs.

In turn, these organizations provide food and/or meals to nearly 40,000 different people every week. Roadrunner Food Bank volunteers help with sorting food and produce, repacking bulk foods, packing food boxes, light custodial duties, office support, order-pulling, and recycling. To volunteer, a person should be able to use their hands, fingers and arms with dexterity, be able to physically handle, lift and move product, and stand for periods of time.

Staff Council has a long history of dedication to community service.  Each year the Staff Council sponsors numerous events to benefit the community including Operation Gratitude, which collects candy to send to military troops and the Happy Tails Donation Drive to collect items for homeless pets.  In addition, Staff Council organizes many events for staff including our annual breakfast, picnic, and concerts.  Staff Council also has two awards for staff: the monthly PAWS award for exceptional service to the UNM community and the very prestigious annual Gerald May presidential award for outstanding staff.

“UNM employees serve as ambassadors of the University and the Staff Council promotes this idea by participating in community service projects,” said Kathy Meadows, administrative officer, UNM Staff Council. “We believe that service to the community not only promotes a feeling of goodwill and camaraderie among UNM staff but also reflects the true spirit of UNM as a viable, active partner in the community in which we live.”

If you’d like to join Staff Council on any community service events or for more information, contact scouncil@unm.edu.