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Free food assistance available to seniors

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Salvation Army Lt. Amber West and Lt. Joe West display food being readied for distribution through a program aimed at helping area seniors. (Daily Record Photo)

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Local Salvation Army representatives are looking to spread the word about a program that can help area seniors by providing monthly free food assistance.

The federally funded Commodity Supplemental Food Program provides food from the United States Department of Agriculture — distributed through the state of New Mexico — to eligible seniors.

There are multiple distribution points throughout the state — including, in southeast New Mexico, the local Salvation Army Food Bank at 207 E. Chisum Street in Roswell.

Those interested must be 60 or older to participate and meet income eligibility requirements, according to Salvation Army officials.

“The state of New Mexico gives us the food and then it’s our job to give it out to the seniors that need it,” said Salvation Army Lt. Amber West.

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There are 2,200 spots available in the program in this part of the state, of which 2,000, approximately, are currently filled. That leaves about 200 open slots the Salvation Army staff would like to see filled by local seniors.

“We’d like to help as many in our community as we can,” West said.

Among those who are served by the program are some homebound seniors whose food is delivered by Salvation Army members. Participants also have the option of designating a proxy — some paperwork must be completed — who can pick up food for them.

Each box of food contains proteins, grains, fruits and vegetables along with items meeting a range of other nutritional requirements. Unlike some programs, distributions are made not on a per-household basis, but per-person. Two people living under one roof are each able to take advantage of the program.

Seniors interested in learning more about the program can visit the food bank, or call 575-625-2030.

The Salvation Army also continues to manage its emergency food program, which distributes food donated by the community and food purchased from Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque.