ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Beth Dennison climbs behind the wheel of a school bus loaded with sandwiches, milk, fruit and vegetables each weekday and rattles over 30 miles of dusty Torrance County roads delivering food to waiting children.
“Just meeting the kids is a perk,” Dennison said as children began boarding at the first meal site – a cluster of manufactured homes laced with dirt roads about five miles west of Moriarty.
“I’d like to see more of these sites next year,” Dennison said of New Mexico’s first-ever mobile meal program. “Torrance County is one of the poorest counties in the state. Lots of families have transportation problems.”
Dennison isn’t alone in her desire to expand the program.
Leaders of child nutrition programs view Moriarty’s mobile meal program as a model and hope to replicate it across New Mexico and other rural states where children are too often stranded far from summer meal sites.
Parked nearby in a dirt cul-de-sac is Michael Gonzales, who each morning loads his two young daughters into his car – a former police cruiser – to meet the bus here. Gonzales said he lost his job last winter as a security guard in Albuquerque Login to read more