ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Presbyterian and the nonprofits Street Safe New Mexico and Street Food Institute are teaming up to get hot meals to people in need. Tina Garcia-Shams is the executive director of Street Food Institute, an entrepreneurial training program that also got into food distribution during the pandemic. It’s teaming up with Presbyterian to give out hot meals at its Food Pharmacy.
“We’re doing about 100 meals from there,” said Garcia-Shams. And more meals for people who need them are on the way.
“They also asked if we’d be interested in working with Street Safe. So, we were definitely interested,” said Garcia-Shams. “I’m always so inspired and impressed by the work they’re doing. So I was happy to get involved.”
According to a Facebook post by Safe Street New Mexico, Presbyterian had produce to give people facing food insecurity. But, the people they were trying to serve don’t always have ways to cook the food or access to a hot meal. Street Food Institute is now cooking the food to give out hot meals. The three started a new outreach site and will be giving out hot meals every Thursday on Central near Tramway. Garcia-Shams said that the location was intentional.
“There aren’t a lot of resources available there,” she said. The first distribution was this past Thursday and Garcia-Shams gave out 80 meals. Garcia-Shams said at both the Food Pharmacy and at the new outreach site on Central, the meals mean a lot.
“I can’t tell you how many people come through and are so grateful that they get to just go home and eat a hot meal and not think about cooking it right then,” she said. Street Food Institute will be at the new outreach site with Safe Street New Mexico through August.
Garcia-Shams said people interested in getting involved can reach out to either organization. The Food Pharmacy happens every Wednesday from 12-3 p.m. The new outreach on Central near Tramway is at 13001 Central Ave. It happens every Thursday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.