The COVID-19 pandemic is having a dramatic impact on the food and nutrition needs of New Mexicans. New Mexico ranks one of the highest among states in food insecurity, with approximately 15.1% of New Mexico households being food insecure. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated food insecurity due to community lockdowns, school closures, the closure of some food pantries, rising unemployment, shortages of certain food items, and the displacement of some individuals in COVID-19 isolation shelters.
The State of New Mexico has delivered an estimated 2.3 million pounds of food, with early operations focusing on the children and the elderly.
The Thornburg Foundation made a grant to the State of New Mexico to help establish the ESF6 Community Fund and to supplement ESF6 emergency food operations. The Fund pays for the purchase and delivery of emergency food for populations that are unable to travel outside of their community or have limited or no access to food as a result of an emergency situation or order. ESF6 operations follow FEMA Policy FP 104-009-19 guidelines.
As of October 26, the ESF6 Community Fund has been used to procure more than $240,000 worth of food. This allowed for the delivery of more than 3,700 food boxes and 12 pallets of water to five of New Mexico’s tribes or pueblos while they were in a community lockdown phase.
The State of New Mexico now has a price agreement with the NM Food Bank Network, which will allow it to use that network for future emergency food or water requests. To date, these distributions have been made by the NM National Guard or commercial food distributors.
However, the new price agreement will allow contracted members of the NM Food Bank Network to also distribute food to needy communities.
How to apply?
State of New Mexico’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) manages the ESF6 fund. County and Tribal Emergency Managers should submit requests to the State EOC. The local emergency manager must complete a resource request on a ICS 213 RR form. This must be done in collaboration with the NM EOC to ensure that the request meets FEMA requirements.
ESF6 funds may only be utilized for needs specifically identified as being triggered by the COVID-19 emergency, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
What organizations are eligible for receiving food distributions?
Any New Mexico community experiencing a food shortage caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic is eligible for assistance from ESF6.
How it is this funding request different from food needs that food banks are responding to? The New Mexico Food Banks’ regular distributions, as well as other existing State food programs, should be the primary source for meeting food insecurity needs. The ESF6 Community Fund is reserved for communities that are experiencing a disruption of access or the delivery of food supplies as a direct result of an emergency, such as the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster.
New Mexico Emergency Operations Center ESF6 Contacts
Tribal Emergency Managers:
NM EOC Tribal Liaison
HSD Tribal Liaison
Work Cell: 505-470-2731
County Emergency Managers:
HSD Safety & Compliance Officer
EOC-ESF 6 Coordinator