1991 Casa de Peregrinos joins an alliance sharing a dream to create a single campus to house agencies whose services provide basic human needs and offer life-changing opportunities such as education, counseling, and job training. The Community of Hope was incorporated in March 1993. Today, it consists of five agencies serving the poor and homeless.
1997 Casa de Peregrinos inaugurates its Thanksgiving Turkey Basket Program, distributing 100 turkeys to families for Thanksgiving dinner.
1999 Rebeca Renteria is hired as Executive Director of Casa de Peregrinos.
2005 Casa de Peregrinos moves into the Community of Hope. Construction of the Community of Hope campus began in 1997 and was divided into three phases. Phase III, the final project of the initial dream, was finished in 2005, and Casa de Peregrinos Emergency Food Bank moved into its current location on West Amador. The CdP facility is 4,000 square feet and was designed to distribute an estimated 500,000 pounds of food per year.
2006 CdP serves 250 families per week, providing a food basket consisting of rice, flour, cheese, beans, and tortillas.
2009 CdP implements the Summer Program for Children, to assist families with school-aged children during the time's school is not in session and they have no access to free/reduced-cost meals in the school system.
2011 In June of 2011, Casa de Peregrinos hires Lorenzo Alba, Jr., a native of Lordsburg, former publisher of the Lordsburg Liberal, and graduate of the University of New Mexico to serve as its Executive Director. On his first day, CdP served 38 families. In his first week, CdP ran out of food on Friday.
2011 CdP begins the Rural Food Initiative, setting up 13 mobile pantries throughout Dona Ana County to serve clients living near the colonias.
2012 Casa de Peregrinos distributes one million pounds of food.
2013 Casa de Peregrinos distributes 1.45 million pounds of food, averaging 50 pounds of food per distribution.
2014 Casa de Peregrinos undertakes the Food Rescue Program. Food rescue is defined as the practice of “safely retrieving edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and distributing it to those in need” The recovered food is edible but often not salable, such as products that are past their sell-by date. The Food Rescue Program resulted in Casa de Peregrinos acquiring over 300,000 pounds of food between March and December of 2014. In 2014, CdP distributes 1.75 million pounds of food.
2015 Casa de Peregrinos distributes 2 million pounds of food.
2015 Recognizing that the growth in clients served and food distributed has outrun the capacity of the current facility, Casa de Peregrinos decides to seek a new facility. The City of Las Cruces includes a request in its Community Initiative Project to the State Legislature to fund a fifth building on the Community of Hope Campus, to serve as the warehouse and pantry for Casa de Peregrinos.
2016 Casa de Peregrinos implements The Senior Mobile Food Pantries and the Student Pantries, bringing the number of mobile pantries to 21. Five pantries are located at the Senior Centers operated by the City of Las Cruces, and two more are located at Dona Ana Community College’s two Las Cruces locations.
Due to the success of the Food Rescue Program, the amount of produce included in food baskets increased from 15-20% in 2011 to 30-50% and the total amount of food averages 85 pounds per month. This is in comparison to the average food pantry distribution of 40 pounds per month. In all, Casa de Peregrinos distributes 2.5 million pounds of food in 2016.
1,300 Thanksgiving baskets were provided to families in Dona Ana County to permit them to celebrate the holidays in their own homes. Over 28,000 people received assistance from Casa de Peregrinos in 2016.
2017 Casa de Peregrinos received a grant from the New Mexico State Legislature of $85,000 to begin the planning and design of a new warehouse and distribution center.
2018 A new pantry is added at NMSU, and Casa de Peregrinos implements the “Healthy Snack Program” at the Lynn Community School. 3.5 million pounds of food were distributed to over 30,000 people: over 1 in 7 people in Dona Ana County came to Casa de Peregrinos for help.
2018 2,100 turkey baskets were distributed to Dona Ana County families through the “Holidays for All” program.
2018 The New Mexico State Legislature grants $530,000 in Capital Investment Funds towards the new warehouse and pantry, bringing us to our goal for planning and design.
2019 Casa de Peregrinos celebrates its 40th Anniversary of serving food-insecure families in Dona Ana County and commits itself providing food and advocacy for those in need until hunger goes out of
business in Doña Ana County.
CdP distributed 3,804,286 pounds of food to almost 30,000 unduplicated individuals, at 23 distinct locations, including 3,672 Thanksgiving baskets, and food for the thousands of migrants seeking asylum in the United States.
2020 The City of Las Cruces purchases a new site for CdP that includes 2 acres of land, with two buildings: a retail/office operation consisting of 8,200 square feet, and a warehouse consisting of 11,000 square feet.
The New Mexico State Legislature grants $1.2 million in Capital Investment Funds towards the new warehouse and pantry.
As we embarked upon 2020, CdP faced yet another humanitarian crisis: the global pandemic of the coronavirus. We are continuing to serve our community while taking the ultimate precautions for the safety of our staff, volunteers, and clients. Despite the pandemic, CdP remained committed to providing healthy, nutritious food to families experiencing a financial crisis. We balanced our commitment to service with safeguarding the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and clients, taking aggressive precautions to avoid the spread of the virus with social distancing, requiring personal protective equipment, and diligently sanitizing the facility and equipment.
CdP personnel served over 35,000 people -- 5,000 more than we have ever served in one year -- without turning anyone away or placing them on a waiting list. Our doors remained open to all those in need. We addressed this increased demand thanks to the ingenuity, creativity, and hard work of the staff, board, and volunteers. Our team pulled together, supported each other, and came up with creative ways to safely serve our clients. Our donors, individuals, foundations, and public partners gave financial support to a level unprecedented in our history. What we have seen during the COVID epidemic surpassed our wildest expectations.
2021 Expanded service sites: CdP expanded its service sites from 23 to 28, by providing Healthy Snack Bars in 4 more community schools and opening a pantry in the Desert Hope Apartments, a project that aims to contribute to stopping the cycle of homelessness. It is leasing its 40 furnished units to people experiencing homelessness, charging them affordable rent and connecting them with supplementary wraparound services, helping to build independent living and tenancy skills. CdP is pleased to be providing an on-site food pantry as a part of this community collaboration.
In June, CdP’s Executive Director, Lorenzo Alba, Jr. celebrates his 10th Anniversary as the director of CdP.
Provided more food to families than ever before. We provided an additional 281,141 meals in 2021 compared to 2020. This brings the total number of meals provided in the last ten years to over 24 million. Over 5.2 million pounds of food were distributed.
Re-invigorated our volunteer corp. After seeing volunteerism fall off during the pandemic, volunteer hours increased to over 12,000 in 2021, the equivalent of almost 6 full-time employees.
The New Mexico State Legislature grants $1.8 million in Capital Investment Funds towards the new warehouse and pantry. Subsequent grants of $3.75 million from the City of Las Cruces, and $350,000 from the City CDBG program secured the total cost needed for construction and renovation.
2022 In March, CdP breaks ground on its new building at 991 West Amador
45,286 food distributions to 30,070 clients
3.3k Million meals served to our community
$6.9 Million worth of meals
88 Pds per distribution of carts
16,007 volunteer hours contributed
Equivalent to 7.7 full-time Employees