Vecino, Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund – Part 3

We are pleased that the Vecino, Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund has strong impact in New Mexico communities. New Mexico Foundation began a weekly series featuring inspirational stories from nonprofit organizations that received grants. 

We are grateful for support from individual donors and local, national foundations and funders that enabled NMF to distribute 40 grants for a total of $170,862 to non-profit organizations and tribes. These grants supported COVID-19 response and relief efforts including the distribution of the following: food, medical supplies, PPE and personal items; water; livestock feed; propane refills, diapers, and other community needs.

We wish to recognize and thank these wonderful organizations for the work they are doing to support our families and communities in New Mexico during this challenging time.

Northern Youth Project  Photo credit: Faith Maxwell Location: Abiquiu, NM

The Northern Youth Project (NYP) has maintained continuity with teens by hosting weekly art challenges, and supporting teen inspired ideas such as hosting a planting challenge called #planttheseed. Working in collaboration with the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, project leaders gathered seeds, soil, planters, video and written information for the project youth as well as others in the community. During the COVID crisis, youth have stepped up as leaders, while senior interns dedicated more time and energy into growing food in our garden and creating how-to videos, gathered information to disseminate in newsletters to the recipients of the bags, and help packages distributed weekly as “Green Gifts”.

As the crisis grew, it became apparent that food insecurity in Northern New Mexico would be even more of a challenge. In response, NYP partnered with the Northern New Mexico Food Network Coalition, the El Rito Arts Association, and Northern New Mexico College to safely aggregate locally grown produce called “Green Gifts” for distribution to local elementary and high schools. This effort has also been made possible by collaborations with Malandro Farm, Ojo Farm, Espanola Community Market and various local growers and stores.

NYP will continue being a resource in the community; not only to teach life skills, and sustainability, but also as a connection to each other and the earth.

“We continue to maintain our garden, which roots us back to what is at the heart of our work. Care for the land, and care for each other. Our garden continues to be a safe space, one which is needed now more than ever.” As the community continues forward in a Covid-19 world, what has been shared with us is a need for healthy foods, PPE, and immune boosting medicine or herbs.”

Faith Maxwell, NYP Executive Assistant, Director of Operations
Photo credit: Faith Maxwell
Photo credit: Faith Maxwell

Food is Free Albuquerque

Food is Free Albuquerque (FIFA) has given over 175 garden boxes, which included 25,000 pounds of soil, more than 1,000 packets of seeds, 200 pots, and self-watering buckets were also given. This program served over 780 people served with 7500 plant starts that were distributed; each vegetable plant producing an average of 10 pounds of food, estimated as 75,000 pounds of fresh, local food to be homegrown by the community. 
We are into the gleaning season–our main program. Over 450 pounds of apricots (that’s over 2500 servings!) have already been harvested. A great kickoff to the season! If you know anyone who has fruit trees who would like help with harvesting, or would like us to pick up harvested fruit, anyone can schedule it on our website

“We look forward to working with New Mexico Foundation to further our mission of encouraging social empowerment through the growing and sharing of fresh food in the near future, particularly as we head into the gleaning season–our main program.”

Trista Teeter
FIFA Managing Director
Photo credit: Trista Teeter,
FIFA Managing Director
Photo credit: Trista Teeter,
FIFA Managing Director

For more information about the Vecino – Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund click here

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