Frequently Asked Questions
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Have a question or two about Casa de Peregrinos?
Perhaps you’ll find the answers below. If not, please don’t hesitate to give us a jingle or leave us a message here. Please do the same if you have suggestions for Q&A that should be included in this collection. And now to the questions...
What does Casa do? Casa de Peregrinos operates an emergency food program at its Las Cruces food pantry (where the two volunteers shown here were repackaging food for our clients).
Currently, we have three projects: Food Security, Summer Food for Children, and the Rural Initiative. See the navigation menu at the left to access specific information about these projects, each of which has its own description page.
Does Casa have 501(c)(3) status? Yes, since 1985.
How many clients do you serve? The Las Cruces pantry serves 900 clients; the rural pantries are serving 1,100, and those numbers increase nearly every month.
How often do you open? We’re open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please check the right column for both client and business hours.
How much food do you give out in an average year? In 2012, we made 34,946 grocery distributions in Las Cruces, and 29,141 in the rural colonias—a total of 1,062,040 pounds of food for the hungry.
Does Casa distribute in just one location? No. Although our principal pantry is in Las Cruces, we support mobile pantries in 12 colonias: Anthony, Berino, Chaparral, Del Cerro, Doña Ana, Hatch, La Mesa, Mesquite, Organ, Radium Springs, Rincón, and Tortugas.
What does a typical distribution include? In the Las Cruces pantry, clients always receive dried beans and rice, tomato sauce, tortillas, and cheese. Generally, we can add a few canned and packaged items to that, as well as some fresh produce and eggs or meat. At the mobile pantries in the colonias, clients receive the same sort of products, roughly 50 pounds per distribution.
What documentation must clients present in order to get food? We need to see a some kind of I.D. (drivers license, etc.) and also proof of physical address, such as a light bill, rent receipt, etc. We cannot accept P.O boxes as this proof.
How often may clients come to Casa for food? At the Las Cruces pantry, homeless clients and those without access to kitchens may visit Casa once a week. Clients with kitchens may visit once a month except in the summer, when—if they have school-age kids—they may through the Summer Food for Children project add an extra visit during each month of the summer recess. These added visits help to offset their children’s loss of access to breakfast and lunch programs. Clients at mobile food pantries in the colonias receive food once a month.
Do you use volunteers at Casa de Peregrinos? Absolutely, and we couldn't get along without them! Although their numbers vary, we generally draw from a pool of roughly 35 at the Las Cruces pantry.
How many paid staff do you have? Right now, we have one full-time person (our executive director) and five part-time employees.
Do you work with any other helping agencies? We cooperate with several Las Cruces agencies and organizations, particularly those on the campus of the Community of Hope (where we operate as well).
For example, we enjoy a cordial relationship with El Caldito, a soup kitchen on the campus. When surplus bread, produce, and even (very occasionally) meat turn up, they either notify us or simply bring it over to our warehouse themselves. Many times, such openhandedness has saved the day for our clients. We do our best to reciprocate.
Where do you get your funding? Our funds come from a variety of sources, among them the generous people of Las Cruces—contributing individually or through clubs, churches, and businesses. We also receive financial support from the City of Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, FEMA, United Way, and several foundations. Two of the latter who’ve helped us a great deal are the Wolslager Foundation and the Daniels Fund. Raising the funds to keep our operation going is a challenging and constant effort.
I want to sponsor a food drive. How do I do that? For now, your best bet is to call the Casa office directly (575-523-5542). Someone will be more than happy to help you.
What foods are most useful to your clients? Although we and our clients are grateful for whatever food you can give, people needing food assistance particularly appreciate the following: canned meats and vegetables (particularly tomatoes), beans, and soups; canned fruits and juices; peanut butter; dry cereal; pasta; rice and pinto beans; dry milk; baby food; fresh veggies and fruit; milk, eggs, cheese; healthy kid snacks; and no-cook foods for homeless clients.
Are you a United Way agency? Yes. We’re also members of the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce and also of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce of Las Cruces.
Can I satisfy my community-service requirements at Casa? Many people have done so and, for the most part, appear to have enjoyed the experience. To discuss your particular situation, please call our executive director, Lorenzo Alba.