Communities In Schools of New Mexico
In partnership with The Food Depot, Communities In Schools organizes weekly food distribution programs for students and families at the schools we serve. In 2020-21, during the height of the pandemic, Communities In Schools organized a food delivery program and provided 205,000 meals to 570 families that were not able to attend local food distribution programs.
This year, in the eleven schools we serve (and over 6,000 students that have access to our supports), our community school site coordinators distributed an average of 10,800 meals every month in the first half of the school year. Every Thursday at Ortiz Middle School, student helpers meet with community school site coordinator, Luis Burrola, to assemble grocery bags filled with staples like milk, eggs, bread, and fruits & vegetables. This year his program is in more demand, "I see so much more need this year. For several years we would pack an average of 35 bags every Thursday. Now, we've had to increase our order to make 70 bags every week - and some days I still don't have enough."
Luis believes the increase in demand is a result of COVID, where more families have become food insecure. And while this might mean more hardship for students, Luis makes the most of food distribution days. "This is one way I get to know more kids in our school. When a student knows I am there to help them with food, they often come back later to talk with me or ask for help in school, too.