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Lending a Hand

Photo of Jessica Ortiz and Daniel Waldo

James Pawlak photo

ENMU-Ruidoso employees live and work in the community and pitch in whenever there’s a need.

To highlight one volunteer effort, several employees volunteer time and muscle to help distribute free food from the Lincoln County Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry each month.

In June, for instance, James Pawlak (pictured at right), librarian, Daniel Waldo (pictured below), faculty and coordinator of Student Success, and Jessica Ortiz, Student Services specialist, arrived early to help set out food stations, then guide patrons through the maze of boxes and help load cars with food.

In other months, staff and student volunteers, including Tonia Ashby and Clara Farah, have pitched in to help. James has been helping since 2012.

The distribution is held the first Thursday of each month Daniel Waldo photoin the parking lot of River Crossing Ministries at 1950 Sudderth Dr. in Ruidoso. River Crossing, a 501 (c) 3, is the official “host” of the Lincoln County Health Council’s Mobile Food Pantry.

Volunteers fill boxes with fruit, frozen foods, non-perishable can goods and staples such as bread, sugar and flour. From set up to clean up requires about three hours.

In June, 59 families received food assistance, a number which includes 42 children.

“Our monthly order is for an estimated turnout of 75 households with the deliver running to 5,000 pounds of food,” James said. “Two thousand pounds of that is fresh produce, which is often in short supply.”

To join volunteers at the distribution each month, call 505.257.3014.