Shortly after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Mexico Foundation organized pilot programs addressing the needs of far-flung (“frontier”) communities in the state. One working group, in partnership with the Chama Valley Independent Schools (CVIS), investigated food insecurity in student households in Northern Rio Arriba County. The study emerged as a response to area community leaders expressing concern about hunger in households with children. The study demonstrated that often county wide data on food insecurity obscures the real conditions in sub-county frontier areas. For example, food insecurity in the CVIS households studied was three times the food security data reported about Rio Arriba County.
This study is being distributed to help New Mexico respond to this critical and persistent need of families outside of the major population centers. While focusing on a particular frontier region, we believe that it speaks to the needs of a much wider population throughout the state.
Thank you to Maria Varela and the Rural Resources Group for her work; she conceived and managed this important study. Maria is a community organizer, photographer, teacher, writer, and principal of the Rural Resources Group, an organization in the Albuquerque area that helps rural communities develop sustainable economies and environments. Maria served on the New Mexico Foundation Board in the 1990s and has continued her interest in the Foundation’s work.
To download the study, click here.