Walmart Foundation Awards More Than $350,000 To New Mexico Nonprofits

Eight organizations receive funds to fight hunger, provide job training and promote sustainability

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, March 8, 2014 – The Walmart Foundation’s New Mexico State Giving Program has awarded $353,100 to eight organizations located across the state. Grants have been made to Heart Gallery of New Mexico, New Mexico Appleseed, New Mexico AIDS Services, St. Martins Hospitality Center, University of New Mexico Foundation, La Familia Medical Center, New Mexico Recycling Coalition and Navajo Technical University.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez praised these generous awards, saying, “I’m proud of our private sector community partners like the Walmart Foundation’s New Mexico State Giving Program. When groups like these work together with other groups and organizations, it helps our families and communities succeed and thrive.”

The Walmart Foundation’s New Mexico State Giving Program awards grants to local organizations that address the needs for the communities they serve and make a significant social impact.

Walmart is proud to support these organizations in their efforts to help address critical needs throughout New Mexico,” said Pedro Andrade, regional director of operations for Walmart. “Together we can make a positive difference in the communities we serve.”

The following nonprofits received grants to fund vital local programs that have proven to help those in New Mexico with health and wellness, nutrition, food and education:

Heart Gallery of New Mexico was awarded a grant of $50,000. Working alongside the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department as a nonprofit partner, the Heart Gallery of New Mexico encourages adoption through foster care. The children in the program typically are considered “hard to place” due to their ages or because they are part of a sibling group. Formed in New Mexico in 2001, the Heart Gallery has expanded to 42 states where similar events are held in an effort to help these deserving children find their “forever homes.”

New Mexico Appleseed received $25,000 for its Full Stomachs –Full Minds program. The organization will use the funding to build the infrastructure in communities throughout the state and on the Navajo nation (all three states) to get USDA federal meals to children.  This includes breakfast, afterschool meals, summer food and free meals for all children at high-poverty schools.  

This was such an unexpected and amazing check,” said Jennifer Ramo, executive director for New Mexico Appleseed.  “This year alone our work will impact tens of thousands of children and this grant from Walmart really helps us in that endeavor.”

New Mexico AIDS Services received a $30,000 grant which will be used to support its Necessities of Life Program (NOLP). The NOLP provides its clients with the life sustaining nutrition necessary to lead a healthy and productive life. New Mexico Aids Services strives to enhance the quality of life of those living with HIV and AIDS, and the NOLP is vital to that mission.

As the only food pantry in the state of New Mexico that is devoted solely to serving individuals living with HIV/AIDS, we reach more than 350 men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS every week,” said Beth Rubins, director of grants and support. “This assistance comes in the form of food supplied by the NOLP food pantry and nutritional supplements. The grant from Walmart will be used to support this effort.”

St. Martin’s Hospitality received a grant of $33,100. The organization will use the money to support its job development program which provides employment training, placement and retention services to Albuquerque’s homeless and near-homeless population.  According to the organization’s Renee Ruybal, funds are to be split between defraying the cost of an Employment Specialist’s salary and direct client service items, such as bus passes, ID vouchers and employment related costs (licenses, dues and fees) for St. Martin’s indigent clients. 

We’ll be going from serving 400 unduplicated clients to 600,” she added.  “Due to major increases in demand, it was critical that St. Martin’s expand its capacity to meet client needs.  Expanding our impact to a minimum of 600 clients is huge for us because it means we will be assisting nearly double the number of clients we did last fiscal year.”   

The University of New Mexico Foundation secured $40,000 to assist with its GED Empower Access and Success in Education (EASE) program targeting largely lower income, non-traditional students in rural Valencia, Torrance, and Socorro counties Funds will purchase "Workforce Connects" to assess career aptitude and focus remediation for successful completion of GED® and bridge to college. Through Walmart's support, students will be able to achieve a GED allowing them to be employed and to pursue further education for high demand, higher paying careers.

La Familia Medical Center received $50,000 to provide needed dental services to low-income, uninsured patients, especially children, in Santa Fe County.

New Mexico Recycling Coalition is using its $50,000 grant to fund a new food scraps management program launching this month and target food-handling operations in the four largest metropolitan areas of New Mexico: Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe.

This project aims to confront and provide solutions for these astounding concepts: Food waste is currently the single largest type of material entering our landfills, Americans throw away up to 40% of their food, while nearly 15% of US households don’t know where their next meals will come from. It’s time to feed people not landfills by working with businesses to properly divert food waste to become food for the hungry or to be composted into soil,” said English Bird, NMRC’s Executive Director.

Navajo Technical University received a grant for $75,000. It will be used to support the Healthy Cooking and Eating in Indian Country Schools project where students and instructors at Navajo Technical University’s (NTU) Culinary Arts Department will travel to Bureau of Indian Education schools using a mobile kitchen to train food preparation staff on how to prepare and present Native foods in a healthy way that entices students to eat nutritious food.

Last year in New Mexico, the Walmart Foundation and stores throughout the state awarded more than $13.1 million in cash and in-kind contributions to community groups that are positioned to address the needs of New Mexico communities and make a significant social impact within Walmart’s core areas of giving: Hunger Relief and Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

In 2013, Walmart’s New Mexico State Giving Program granted a total of $131,900 to Junior Achievement of New Mexico, Oso Vista Ranch Project, and Rio Puerco Alliance.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c)3 tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at walmartfoundation.org/stategiving. The next application cycle opened Jan. 19.