Walmart donations for the SWNMTC! The Veteran's Van and the distribution truck and center. All our volunteers and Walmart employees helping all to load and unload for distribution. The VFW located in Deming,New Mexico.
DEMING – Cabrini Martinez is a veteran of a different sort. As the wife of U.S. Army veteran, she has been volunteering for veteran organizations since retiring from the health services field some 20-plus years ago.
“I did this in Utah for over 20 years,” Cabrini said Wednesday while directing traffic and helping to fill food baskets for veterans at the Southwest New Mexico Transition Center. Martinez is the coordinator for the food distribution which takes place every first Wednesday of the month at the old VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Claude Close Post 1477, located at 4045 Overhill Drive just north of Deming.
On this day over 110 families received a shopping cart with the essentials for the dinner table. Breads, vegetables, frozen foods and boxed dinners were set out on tables for veterans to stroll by and fill shopping carts.
Student volunteers from the Deming Cesar Chavez Charter High School were on hand to help wheel the carts out and load the food into vehicles.
“This is all volunteer help," Cabrini said. “We do this as a community service to our veterans."
The SWNMTC is a nonprofit organization that relies heavily on donations and contributions from local businesses. The SWNMTC also holds raffles to help supplement the upkeep of the old VFW building. The center also does some grant writing to help pay the bills.
“Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico out of Albuquerque charges us $150 per 50 families who receive food,” Cabrini says. “We open the gates at 8 a.m. and the doors open at 9. We provide coffee and donuts for the veterans while they wait for the Roadrunner truck to come in. We make the vets as comfortable as possible, and I think they enjoy getting together and socializing with their comrades.”
The truck rolls in between 10:30 and 11 a.m. and the work of unloading and sorting the food items begins. “At first it was a bit hectic when I took over, but now we have it down to a science,” Cabrini explained.