ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A northwest Albuquerque neighborhood known for its Christmas decorations is giving back to the community.

For the last two weeks, Nate Bywater has collected food items for the Storehouse New Mexico food pantry. It all started when his friend suggested he host a food drive since lots of people go to his neighborhood to look at the different Christmas light decorations. He thought it was a great idea, and the rest was history.

“When we see an opportunity to help out others, that’s what we want to capitalize on and take advantage of that opportunity so that we can actually make a difference in people’s lives, especially around the holiday season,” said Bywater.

Storehouse New Mexico provides free groceries for 40,000 hungry New Mexicans annually. When a store manager from Walmart heard about the drive, he offered to help out.

“He said, ‘hey,’ and goes, ‘how do I donate to you?’ and I said, ‘come on by,’ so he came by, and dropped off almost 300 pounds worth of food,” said Bywater.

The goal was to raise 2,000 pounds of food, but thanks to the community’s support, they’ve exceeded their goal, and they’re still not done collecting.

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Bywater said this wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for those who have been spreading the word out on the food drive. The goal is to continue accepting donations until New Year’s Day.

Food donations can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • 10431 Venticello Drive NW, Albuquerque
  • 8508 Waterford Place NE, Albuquerque
  • 6401 Pepperdine Street NE, Albuquerque