Food project grant introduced at Socorro city council meeting

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At the Socorro city council meeting Monday night, Healthy Kids Socorro Coordinator Cynthia Connolly presented the Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program to the mayor and council members.

According to Connolly, the purpose of the grant is to have local farmers grow foods for all schools in Socorro, and she would like the city to be the fiscal agent for the grant.

Connolly said the Socorro Community Kitchen and the farmers market is run by volunteers. With the grant money, she would like to hire someone full-time at the Socorro Community Kitchen and farmers market, and get paid, she said.

The city would be in charge of the finances working through the grant, and the goal is to create healthy lifestyles by getting local foods to the community, she said. Connolly is also meeting with the schools directly about the grant.

“I am working towards this to create a healthier Socorro,” Connolly said.

The grant would be $120,000 to $130,000 for three years, she said. According to Connolly, there are already two farmers with greenhouses who are interested in the project. Council members didn’t make any decisions on the grant.

“My concern is are we entitling a group in charge of a system and empowering it in this grant?” Mayor Ravi Bhasker said. “I’m not sure what that is. It bothers me.”

In the public forum, Coach Josh Gonzales reported to council members the success of the junior wrestling team. At a previous meeting, parent Cynthia Romero presented to council members the possibility of the junior wrestling team using Finley gym for practices.

Gonzales said all the wrestlers have their paperwork in order, and there are 20 to 30 kids who are on the wrestling team. There are some returning children and some new participants.

After school, a bus drops off the kids at Finley gym and the practices run for two-and-a-half hours a day. Gonzales also said there are four other certified, experienced coaches who are helping with the wrestling practices.

“The kids are really happy, and really appreciative,” Gonzales said.

Each child on the wrestling team holds a wrestling card so they can wrestle in other cities, he said. Their first match takes place in Los Lunas on Dec. 9. The team is currently raising money for new equipment, they need mats and helmets, Gonzales said.

They want to sell Navajo tacos or host an enchilada dinner. It’s $60 dollars for a child to be on the junior wrestling team compared to $150 in Los Lunas or Albuquerque, he said.

The wrestling season goes until the end of February, and if children get into trouble at school or if their grades start dropping, they aren’t allowed to wrestle, he said.

Youth Center Director Cindy Rivera reported to council members about the blood drive that’s taking place on Nov. 26. She organizes the blood drive and said on Friday there wasn’t any progress for their goal of 30 pints of blood.

The council adopted the resolution to give employees two hours of comp time, if they donate blood.