Jardin de los Niños, a nonprofit child care center that serves children and families who are homeless and near-homeless in Las Cruces, New Mexico, received a $25,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative. The grant funded Jardin de los Niños’ weekend anti-hunger project, which provides consistent, nutritious meals over the weekend when families might not otherwise eat or eat well.
MICHELLE ADAMES: Jardin de los Ninos is a child care center we provide educational services. Within those services our children are fed breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack daily. Really is it to support the families who are homeless or near homeless to ensure that they do not go hungry over the weekend. What we decided that this was a great way to support the families. The project it was first initiated because teachers were finding that children in the classroom indicated that were very hungry when they came back on a Monday after the weekend had passed.
ARALIS CHACON: Food is a basic need and that is something that the kids should not be worrying about when they are going to have their next meal. They were coming on Monday starving because they were not getting notorious meals and some of them were not even eating.
Us knowing that they were having food for the weekend it are a great relief.
FRANK: It has helped a lot. I am on a fixed income right now. This is a great place. They have helped me out tremendously and teaching him a lot. It is a great place to be.
ANGELA: Food helps out a lot like every week for a meal. I have eight kids so it runs out. It is really healthy because they give me all varieties of foods. We wouldn’t have anything without them.
RHONDA: They love the food. They love everything that they are able to get from Jardin.
ARALIS CHACON: Before this grant we didn’t have this program, because now we can provide food for the kids every weekend and before that it was not something that we can do.
MICHELLE ADAMES: We have received great feedback from the family they are able to sustain throughout the month. For the families it is really important not to be worried about where they are going to get their next meal. I would like to say on behalf of Jardin de los Ninos it is really important that we recognize Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, because without your funding source we would not be able to provide food baskets to our families and it has been great having that funding source that we can rely on that for our families. We are not worried how they are going to make it through the weekend.
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