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East Mesa Baptist Church opens food pantry


East Mesa Baptist Church (EMBC), 6160 Moongate Road, dedicated a new food pantry in December.

EMBC interim Pastor Stephen Kovach led the dedication ceremony, prayer and recognition of food pantry coordinators Bernice Sanchez and Scott Baumberger and volunteers, said EMBC member Sandy Montoya.

“The volunteers continued processing the food donations and as soon as the dedication part was over, they started giving the food out,” Montoya said.

“The need for food expanded exponentially during the pandemic and the church quickly outgrew its food pantry closet,” Montoya said. “With boxes and pallets of food donations filling up church classrooms and the fellowship hall, which limited the use of those spaces, the church needed a building dedicated solely to the food pantry ministry.”

“Besides the food the church gets through Roadrunner Food Bank, Gospel Rescue Mission shares their overflow of food donations so that nothing goes to waste,” Montoya said.

About 200 families receive food each month from the EMBC pantry and its 19 volunteers, whose average age is 80, Montoya said.

EMBC serves only the East Mesa region (Sonoma Ranch up to Organ) of Las Cruces, she said.

The EMBC food pantry is open 9-11:30 a.m. every Thursday. Applicants must provide a photo ID and proof of residency (a utility bill, for example) that matches the East Mesa address on the person’s ID, Montoya said.

On Tuesdays, the church distributes donated perishable produce, bread and sweets that will not keep until Thursday, she said.

For more information, call EMBC at 575-382-0386.

Visit www.eastmesabaptist.org.