Emergency Food Program
Food Security Project
At present, Casa's emergency food program operates through three separate projects: Food Security, our core project (see below); Summer Food (benefiting school-age children and their families); and our Rural Food initiative (operating in 12 colonias of Doña Ana County).
Food Security Project
Three days a week—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—Casa opens its doors to the hungry of Las Cruces. How often these clients come to us depends upon their circumstances.
For example, homeless clients and people in dwellings with no stoves may visit Casa for groceries once a week; those with access to kitchens may visit monthly.
What Clients Receive
When they have the use of a kitchen, clients take home a standard distribution of dried beans, rice, and tomato sauce, plus cheese and tortillas.
These foods we supplement with whatever bread, canned and/or packaged foods, and fresh produce we have at the time of their visit—sometimes quite a bit, sometimes not so much.
How It Works
Here's the way a new client receives help from Casa...
Step 1. Walking through the door, "Gloria" (who's just lost her job) checks in at our reception window and speaks with an intake specialist.
Step 2. After providing the requested information, Gloria takes a seat in the lobby until called for her private interview (right). Afterward, she returns to the lobby to wait for her groceries.
Step 3. Meanwhile, a volunteer in the warehouse area picks up her order sheet, noting specifics about the people to be served by Gloria's distribution. After preparing her a cart of groceries, the volunteer wheels it out to the lobby, where Gloria receives it and goes on her way.
That would be quick service and a happy client, which on a good day our volunteers can pull off pretty much as described.
Sometimes, though, the wait may be lengthy. Perhaps we were long on clients and short on volunteers that day...or food was scarce...or the “good stuff” ran out too quickly.
Nobody likes that, neither clients nor volunteers. But our pantry operates in a world of growing demand and diminishing resources. Even so, we’ve been upgrading our distributions.
Now, for example, we generally offer some form of fresh produce: potatoes and/or onions, perhaps, and tomatoes and fruit now and then. Sometimes we have eggs and meat—even milk now and then. These make quite a hit not only with our clients, but also with the volunteers serving them.
Perhaps you’d like to become one of those volunteers yourself? If so, do give us a call at (575-523-5542) to learn how your interests might match our needs.
Thanks for dropping by!