For hundreds of families throughout Southern New Mexico, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) serves as a benefit for their entire communities. The program, which reimburses home daycare providers for serving healthymeals to the children they care for, also ensures that working parents have access to high-quality, low-cost childcare near their homes. CACFP providers are especially important in Southern New Mexico’s rural counties, as families might have difficulty taking advantage of daycare facilities in metropolitan areas.
Guadalupe Mendoza, who lives in Chaparral, is one such provider and currently cares for four children. Her mobile home has become a cornerstone in her community, generating a modest income for herself and granting local parents the peace of mind that their children are being cared for during the day. Indeed, Guadalupe prides herself on providing a safe, nurturing environment for the children in her care – which is why she was especially concerned about her porch. The porch and stairs adjoining Guadalupe’s home were old and severely weathered by years of winter snowfall, spring dust storms, and summer heat. As the stairs began to fall apart, Guadalupe became more and more concerned for the safety of the children she cared for. Unfortunately, due to her limited income, Guadalupe was unable to pay to have her porch repaired. A friendly neighbor offered to make the actual repairs, but there was still the matter of purchasing expensive materials like treated wood.
In the midst of her crisis, Guadalupe contacted Adela Trujillo, the Director of Family Wellness here at Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico. Adela quickly realized that the cost of purchasing repair materials exceeded her program budget and began reaching out to local businesses on Guadalupe’s behalf. Ultimately, the Home Depot in Las Cruces was generous enough to donate all of the repair materials to Guadalupe and her family – free of charge! Guadalupe’s neighbor made the repairs and Guadalupe was able to continue serving the children in her care. Guadalupe and the kids are very proud of their new porch!
“This was a win-win situation all the way around,” said Adela. “We kept a provider in the program, the children can stay safe, and Home Depot helped out the community!”