Midwest NM CAP gives goods to families

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Some say helping others is what makes the world a better place. The Midwest New Mexico Community Action Program is doing just that, through serving local families in Socorro.

CAP is a storehouse and buys goods from the Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque. They also get donations from Smiths, Walmart and the Eagles’ Scouts.

CAP gives out their goods every Wednesday from 9-11:00 a.m. and 1-4:00 p.m. Needy families who qualify for assistance receive goods once a month, as well as four emergency boxes of food. Families with five members can receive up to two boxes. The program saw an increase of families receiving goods from 585 in January to 650 in May. In order to be qualified to receive goods from the storehouse, families need to provide their annual gross income, identification cards for adults and social security cards for the whole family. Anyone who qualifies under theses requirements can receive goods, and must also submit an application, CSBG Manager Florie Baca said.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers, we’re here all the time,” Baca said.

CAP was originally located in the M Mall until it burned down in 2005, Baca has been the manager of CAP since 1973. Until CAP could be moved to another location, it was placed in Socorro county housing for three to four months. CAP is now located in the old Aim High building, which Baca and her husband, Abie Baca, lease for $300 a month. Abie, also a volunteer, remodeled the building and has kept it maintained. He also picks up and hands out the food donations. It took him three to four months to remodel the whole building by adding windows, new floors and offices.

“This place was an old school. He (Abie) painted it and made it new,” Baca said. “If something breaks he fixes it.”

The CAP has a system the volunteers use for their donations by putting the goods in bags and boxes. Anyone can volunteer, including Goodwill and community service workers who need to complete a number of hours. Even youths have the opportunity to volunteer 20 hours a week and get paid through the city, Baca said. The busiest day of the week, when families come to receive their goods, is the first Wednesday every month. Over 200 families line up early to receive them. The storehouse is open Monday through Friday, 8-5 p.m., except Wednesdays, when it opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 4:00 p.m.

“It makes me feel wonderful. My clients, we’ve been here for so long,” says Baca. “I love working with people. I don’t turn any one away, I love my job.”