The Storehouse has only a handful of staff members, and we depend on volunteers to keep the food pantry in operation. Annually, we gather to thank our long-term and truly dedicated volunteers who assist the Storehouse, at the fixed site or at our mobile pantries, by stocking and sorting items, cleaning, and helping families who receive food. This year’s celebration was held on July 26, in coordination with the unveiling of our recent building renovations.

Storehouse Executive Director Swarupa Watlington said, “We have people that come from corporate, from schools, from churches. I know that for a fact without these people giving their time, we could not keep our doors open.” This year, more than 1,400 volunteers donated over 2,400 hours to helping the Storehouse feed hungry New Mexicans.

At the luncheon, the Storehouse recognized volunteers who put in more than 35 hours of service this year alone. Six of the volunteers had contributed over 1,000 hours each during the year, which is amazing. We are blessed to have many longtime volunteers, including one individual who has been volunteering at the Storehouse for over 32 years.

Our delicious lunch was donated by chef Josh Chiles of Porc Catering.

CarrieAnn Maes, the Storehouse volunteer coordinator, took time to recognize each of the volunteers as she announced their hours and presented each person with a handwritten thank-you card. To all of the volunteers, CarrieAnn says, “Thank you all so much for your time, your love, and your dedication. Without you all, we wouldn’t function as well as we do.”

CarrieAnn and the Storehouse team worked with local merchants to obtain raffle prizes to reward the volunteers and their service to the community. The annual volunteer appreciation event ended with a group photo under the bright New Mexico sun and our newly-installed art panels.

If you or your group would like to volunteer at the Storehouse, please visit us at

Storehouse volunteers enjoy catching up; handwritten thank-you cards were presented to each volunteer.