Press Release October 19, 2020
Donation for new stove warms hearts
On October 13, 2020, U.S. Eagle Credit Union presented a generous $1,000 donation to a Santa
Fe soup kitchen for a brand-new stainless-steel commercial stove. The donation was facilitated by New
Mexico Cares Foundation, a non-profit organization.
The COVID-19 virus was not enough to stop Soup Kitchen volunteers at St. John the Baptist
Catholic Church, Santa Fe, from serving lunches at no cost to the hungry and homeless three days a
week, as they have done for the past 30 years. The demise of their 1960’s stove most certainly would
have, however, until Soup Kitchen volunteers appealed to U.S. Eagle.
Volunteer Valerie Mirabal reports that numerous times in the past few years volunteers have
crossed their fingers, hoping the old stove would work. “A few days ago, we put chicken in the old oven
at 360 degrees. To our horror the chicken was still cold after 40 minutes! We’ve had increasing fears
that our Thanksgiving Feast, where we feed 350 – 400 homeless and hungry, would be ruined if the
stove didn’t heat up.”
While St. John’s typically prepares hot lunches, served right in the soup kitchen, it has been
serving take-out lunches during COVID-19. Each lunch is made from generously donated food with a
homemade dessert every day. Volunteer cooks and servers range in age from mid-50’s to mid-80’s, and
some days even the grandchildren pitch in.
U. S. Eagle, the oldest credit union in New Mexico, is committed to community service. Its
donation was facilitated by the New Mexico Cares Foundation which was founded in 2014 to support
initiatives designed to alleviate socioeconomic problems in Colfax; Los Alamos; Mora; Rio Arriba;
Sandoval; San Miguel; Santa Fe and Taos Counties.
Press Release November 24, 2020
NM Cares Foundation receives grant from Passo Del Norte Community Foundation
On November 24, 2020 the New Mexico Cares Foundation (New Mexico CARES) received a $14,998 grant from the Paso del Norte Community Foundation of El Paso, Texas. The funds will be used to fulfill a COVID-19 Emergency Need in Otero County. This award will pay for meals for hungry older adults enrolled in Title III Older Americans Act nutrition services programs.
According to New Mexico CARES Executive Director Monica Abeita, all senior centers in New Mexico are temporarily closed due to the public health order for COVID-19. Meal service continues, however, because the Pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in the state. Senior centers now offer home-delivered or grab-and-go meals and no one is turned away. “The demand for these meals has increased substantially for many reasons, one being that many older adults are justifiably fearful of shopping at grocery stores, where they might contract the virus. As a result, some senior centers are quickly spending more than was budgeted for food, packaging, paying cooks and distributing meals,” says Abeita.
New Mexico CARES, a nonprofit 501c(3), is partnering with the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging to seek additional grant funds for Older Americans Act nutrition services providers in New Mexico. For this grant, the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging identified the City of Alamogordo and the Village of Tularosa as providers that both met the grant requirements and were most in need of COVID-related support. “We are actively pursuing additional small grants to help nutrition service providers statewide, emphasizing centers that are running low on funds to feed hungry older adults in this public health emergency,” says Abeita.
“Our meal program has just mushroomed during this pandemic! Since March we have seen many new faces in both our daily “Grab & Go” lineup of cars arriving to pick up a meal and in our Home-Delivered Meal service. We are truly appreciative, especially at this time of year. This generous grant has provided our program the cushion we needed to continue serving meals every day without fear of running out of funds or running out of food, at least for now! Many thanks on behalf of the City of Alamogordo Senior Center!” Magdalena Morales, Alamogordo Senior Center Director.
Press Release February, 2021
NEW MEXICO CARES Foundation, Inc. secures resources for older New Mexicans in the Pandemic
In February, a $5,000 grant award from the New Mexico Foundation’s Emergency Vecino – Neighbor Helping Neighbor - Fund purchased 600 meals for low-income food insecure older people in rural Colfax County. Hunger is more widespread across the state now, after job losses and school closures. Pre-pandemic, the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging provided meals to 115 hungry adults over 60 every weekday at the Eagle Nest Senior Center. Today the demand is up 50% to 173 meals per day there. And now, with all senior nutrition centers in the State closed by the Pandemic, each meal is home-delivered, at twice the cost of a meal served at the center. While the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging was granted Federal Older Americans Act funds for senior nutrition, we did not anticipate this dramatically increased demand. Seniors sheltering at home are justifiably afraid to go out food shopping and greatly appreciate safely delivered meals. The entire award went to the purchase of fresh produce with the highest nutritional value, which was then cooked for home-delivered meals. No administrative costs were withheld from this generous grant by New Mexico Cares.