KITCHEN ANGELS | 1222 Siler Rd Santa Fe, NM 87507 | 505.471.7780
FEBRUARY 2021
Those who've received their first vaccination will be contacted directly by the Department of Health with a date and time for your second dose. If, by several days before your booster window you still haven't heard from them, however, you may go onto the vaccinenm.org website to see if you can schedule an appointment, or call the Department at 1-855-600-3453.

As we wait for another event code, Lauren continues to update our records and separate our active volunteer list into age categories. We want to make certain that individuals 75 and older are the first of our volunteers to receive the vaccination.

If you started volunteering at Kitchen Angels before 2014, please send Lauren a quick email with your full date of birth, including year, so she can ensure we have your correct age. Before 2014, our application forms only asked for month and day of birth. We never anticipated we'd need to sort our volunteers according to age!

Kitchen Angels is pleased to be able to assist volunteers, and clients, in the vaccination process. It gives us all a real sense of hopefulness. Please know that we will pass along any information once we receive it. If you need help registering on the state's vaccine registration portal, call 1-855-600-3453.

We have a lot to be proud of, having made it through 2020 with such strength and grace. Our volunteers rallied and carried us safely through an extraordinarily challenging the year. You might be interested in seeing our 2020 Volunteer Report, which shows our volunteer statistics over the years.
We typically have hundreds of visiting volunteers each year. Last year it wasn't safe to have visiting volunteers from the community, but we did build our active volunteer base, and added "Emergency Volunteers" to the mix.

Our Pandemic volunteers started reaching out when they were laid off, started working from home, lost their jobs, or felt drawn to help in a time of crisis. We would not have been able to carry out our mission if it weren't for those Emergency Volunteers. One hundred twenty-three of these brave souls jumped in to help, many of them young people. Sixty-three percent of these folks have stayed on with us into 2021.

We're preparing and delivering more meals with fewer volunteers, and in a fraction of the time. Many, many thanks to each of you for bringing your best selves into our organization!
Tasty Tidbits
While it might seem like the holiday season is long over, think again. In some Asian cultures, the most important holiday is still yet to come. The Lunar New Year, most associated with Chinese New Year in the United States, falls on February 12. In China, the celebration begins on New Year’s Eve with a large family meal, called the reunion meal, and lasts for fourteen days. At the reunion meal food is, of course, essential, symbolizing the hopes and dreams of the year to come.

The Woks of Life is the perfect recipe website for those interested in Asian food of all kinds. And it has a Chinese New Year menu for ALL skill levels. They provide four menus and at least thirty different recipes for whatever kind of New Year’s celebration you’re looking for. If you can’t make it to the Asian market down in Albuquerque for ingredients, consider ordering food from a local Asian restaurant. This Santa Fe Reporter article is a year old, but it's still a great primer for Santa Fe Chinese restaurants. Just remember that Chinese New Year is an extremely busy time for Chinese families and businesses so put in your order early.
New Mexico, especially Albuquerque, also has a large Vietnamese population who celebrate their version of the Lunar New Year called Tet. Just like Chinese New Year, food is a central part of the Tet celebration. Viet World Kitchen explains simple ways to celebrate Tet, including decorations, clothing, and food.
At the center of Tet is buhn chung, or sticky rice cake wrapped in tropical green leaves. Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen explains that the making of buhn chung is just like tamales - it is a family affair and you never make just one! Again, you might just want to order some food from a local Vietnamese restaurant such as Coda Bakery in Albuquerque (this writer’s favorite spot).
Volunteer Opportunities
Kitchen Angels currently has no volunteer openings.

We have been blessed with many kind and generous individuals who give freely of their time. Thank you all for being willing to work extra shifts during the past year. Lauren is maintaining a substitute and wait list for incoming volunteers.
Continuing Education
As we enter into some of the most difficult months of the pandemic, vaccines are beginning to give many of us a sense of hope. Yet, we still need to be careful. Public health experts remind us that being fully vaccinated doesn't mean we can't get and transmit the coronavirus. It means we won't become ill (or as ill).
One thing we can now do more easily is get a COVID test. You may have missed it, since the announcement was made during the flush of the holiday season, but now all New Mexicans can get free Covid tests sent to their homes. Whether you have symptoms or not, have a doctor’s order or not, you can get a test sent directly to your house. Once received, you administer the test and then send it back. As we already know, constant testing is one way to trace the virus’s spread. Click here to learn more about the free at home tests.

If you are fortunate enough to have received the COVID-19 vaccine, remember that life won’t go back to normal right away. The NYTimes explains that, while the vaccine will make going to the grocery store and post office much safer and will help protect essential and frontline workers, it is still best to avoid large indoor gatherings and we still need to wear face masks.

Scientists don’t yet know if the virus can spread through vaccinated people to those who are unvaccinated. Please don't change your behavior just yet.
Community Connection
It can be very difficult to act in moments of grief. In times of stretched resources and limited in-person connection, who can help when someone dies?

The NM Crisis Line offers a safe telephone line to be connected to services and counseling. 1-855-NM-CRISIS (855-662-7474).
Gerard’s House focuses on supporting children and families with the grieving process. They provide grief groups online, as well as offer limited financial help as resources allow. Gerard’s House also has a program in Spanish, Nuestra Jornada, to assist Spanish speakers.

We have all seen fundraisers for funeral expenses. Santa Fe county has a program to help low income families with cremation. Here's the application.
Thank You
Tamara P, Caring Caller program manager
We have had great success with our Caring Caller program, which is still in its infancy. Volunteers have come out of the woodwork to assist with this program to soften the loneliness many of our clients experience. Some of our volunteers who had to step back from on-site volunteering during the pandemic have found meaningful volunteer work with the program. Clients and callers alike have benefited from having someone to talk with during this time of such isolation.
One of our caller/client matches is Jane and Joan. The are a shining example of the mutual benefit of this program. Here they are, in their own words . . .

Jane: “Caring Callers is a very important part of my life. Having a connection with a 92-year-old woman is the closest I can come to being able to talk to my mother who is no longer here. We’re both dumbstruck at how much we’re alike. We talk almost every day for 15 minutes to several hours. I just love to cheer her on. I’m grateful for the profound honor it is to call Joan. It’s opened up so many happy moments for me.”

Joan: “I don’t know how you did it but it’s a match made in heaven--we are almost joined at the hip! We have so many connections and our personalities are so similar. When you are home by yourself it helps to have a friend who will check in on you. I always look forward to hearing from her. Some days my pain level is so high I am unable to reach out but Jane always calls to check in with me. She is so supportive when I am wrapped in tears with pain. She talks to me and is able to get me part way out of it. I love my friendship with Jane and being part of the program has been wonderful. It reminds me of when we were kids and had a pen pal. Caring Callers is like a pen pal in modern times, but way better.”
Caring Callers left to right: Dottie Hill, Elva Busch, Jane Shea, and Jill Markstein.
Thanks to the first five Caring Caller volunteers who were the guinea pigs of the program. They patiently engaged as we worked out the procedures and protocols. We are grateful for the 23 volunteers who are now participating and doing their part to make the world a little bit better for our clients by listening, sharing and connecting.

Contact Tamara at extension 207 if you would like more information about Caring Callers or would like to participate in the program.
Thank you for all you do to make our community a better place! Please forward this email to a friend. It's a great way to share our mission with new folks who may want to join our group.