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Los Alamos National Laboratory Supports San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen

Partners with Lowe's, Española area businesses, and nonprofit organizations

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Sept. 13, 2007 -- An Española soup kitchen will soon be able to expand its outreach efforts thanks to the work of Los Alamos National Laboratory and several local businesses and nonprofits.

The Laboratory’s Community Programs Office partnered with Lowe’s Home Improvement, Cook’s Española Transit Mix, the Española Housing Authority, and Habitat for Humanity to expand the San Martín de Porres Soup Kitchen. Expansion of the soup kitchen had its genesis in part from last year’s Laboratory Holiday Drive, said Tim Martinez of the Lab’s Community Programs Office. Laboratory employees donated more than 400 food baskets — some 20,000 pounds of food — for needy families in Northern New Mexico. Families in Los Alamos, Española, Pojoaque, Santa Fe, Chimayó, and the surrounding area were recipients of these food baskets.

At the time San Martín de Porres didn’t have the space or the capacity to hold all the donations. A $14,000 grant from United Way of Northern New Mexico helped the soup kitchen meet its fundraising goal of $22,000, and increase storage capacity for storing cold food.

Lowe’s Home Improvement donated $2,000 as well as $2,500 in materials — paint, lumber, shelving and doors — to help renovate and expand the soup kitchen. “It was a worthwhile donation. It’s part of what Lowe’s does, giving back to the community,” said Pat Thomas, manager of Lowe’s Home Improvement in Española. “We were excited to partner with the Laboratory, the other businesses, and the housing authority to help our neighbors in need.”

A fundraiser earlier this year at the Laboratory raised another $7,000. Local banks in Española and Los Alamos also donated funds for the project.

Cook’s Española Transit Mix donated concrete for the cold-food storage unit. Martin Martinez, a cement contractor from Velarde, volunteered to install the concrete flooring for the project. Other volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, including Laboratory employee Jerry Romero, are remodeling the soup kitchen.

“The people helped by the San Martín de Porres Soup Kitchen are our friends and neighbors,” said Lillian Montoya-Rael, director of the Lab’s Community Programs Office, “Our employees are proud to take part in these opportunities.”

“The Community Programs Office took us under their wing as we were preparing to give our holiday food baskets for the needy, and the results where tremendous,” said Suzan Roybal of the San Martín de Porres Soup Kitchen

“We still meet people that thank us and tell us their holiday was so special because of the gift they received from the soup kitchen. We are truly amazed and grateful for the generous efforts put forth by all the employees of the Laboratory.”

“The Española Housing Authority is proud to work with San Martín de Porres and the Laboratory. Our work with the Laboratory has allowed us to move mountains, and that partnership has been invaluable to our success with the remodel,” said Rick Vigil, director of the Española Housing Authority.


For more information, contact the Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Programs Office at 505-665-4400 or write to community@lanl.gov by electronic mail.

San Martín de Porres Soup Kitchen is an independent 501 (c) 3 nonprofit in association with the Española Housing Authority. The kitchen provides hot lunches Monday through Fridays for those in need, along with food baskets to anyone referred by a church or state agency.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. The Laboratory is operated by a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWX Technologies, and Washington Group International for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns.


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