KITCHEN ANGELS | 1222 Siler Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507 | 505.471.7780
One of the many socially-distanced staff meetings that took place in 2020.
They helped staff get on the same page and move forward with a shared vision.
To give you a picture of what our organization faced last year . . . Kitchen Angels saw a 23 percent increase in client enrollment while the number of volunteers decreased by 36 percent. In other words, we cooked, packaged, and delivered more meals with fewer hands. Kitchenality opened their doors to eager shoppers with improved safety protocols and with fewer volunteers than before. We've been able to manage the increase in workload due, in large part, to streamlining our procedures back in March. Most of our volunteers say they like the new procedures better than before and we're seeing far fewer errors.

All of the staff and the vast majority of our volunteers have remained healthy and COVID-free by staying close to home and limiting their contact with others. The Kitchen Angels board of directors has helped steer us through some pretty challenging times. Designated an "essential service" by the Governor in her first public health order, we're fortunate we've had no disruption in service during the pandemic. Other food service organizations around the country can't say the same thing.

Pat yourselves on the back- each one of you deserves our deepest gratitude.
Many of our volunteers asked about the food truck that offered fabulous meals to our volunteers in December. Street Food Institute is a non-profit organization of food service and business professionals dedicated to shaping a healthy, sustainable and creative food future across New Mexico. They’re guided by a belief that street food has an amazing capacity to connect people and enrich our community by creating jobs, developing local business opportunities, and inspiring the culinary leaders of tomorrow. They teach students, future entrepreneurs, and existing food truck operators through their classes and programs.

We are grateful to David Sellers and Tina Garcia-Shams who provided us with such amazing food.
Tasty Tidbits
Like most Americans, a lot of us tend to reevaluate our diets in the new year. After all of the pandemic bread-making and Christmas cookie baking, it's probably time for us to start thinking about the nutrients we need to have a balanced diet. But like everything, our conceptions of a healthy diet are skewed by hundreds of years of American cultural dominance.

An interesting survey found that, although the American diet is incredibly diverse, American dietitians are not. About 71 percent of dietitians are white and that cultural background seeps into what they consider "healthy" and "unhealthy." Dietitians of color are trying to change that by counseling people on how to eat healthy with their favorite foods. It might be a good way for New Mexicans to have their green chile and eat it too.
Speaking of chile, will reheating that frozen green chile in the microwave get rid of all its good nutrients? It has been a persistent urban myth that microwaving your food will strip it of all its goodness, but that is actually not true. Cooking vegetables in the microwave does not destroy their nutritional value. Adding a quarter cup of water to the cooking vegetables before putting them in the microwave can help preserve the nutrients.
Now that we know that the microwave isn’t destroying the nutrition of our food, Tasty has an amazing list of thirty-one things you can cook in the microwave. Once we all start going back to offices (maybe sometime in the nearer future), these microwave meals may come in handy. Did you know you can microwave a sweet potato!? Make delicious scrambled eggs? And mac-n-cheese? And all in the microwave!

Maybe you don’t trust Tasty. If that's the case, check out Good Housekeeping and its list of twenty budget-friendly microwave meals.
Volunteer Opportunities
Delivery Volunteers
  • Substitutes, all routes

Kitchen Volunteers 
  • Monday AM (10-12)
  • Monday PM (1-3)
  • Wednesday AM (10-12)
  • Thursday PM (1-3)
  • Friday AM (10-12)

Delivery Prep (1 - 4:15pm)
  • Monday - Friday substitutes 

Thermal Bag Sanitizing (1.5 hour)
  • Mondays (anytime between 10am- 2pm)
Please contact Lauren at
505-471-7780 x202 if you or someone you know is interested in volunteering. Thank you!
Continuing Education
Although several varieties of the COVID vaccine are being distributed with several more awaiting FDA approval, most of us won’t get vaccinated for another several months. The NYTimes just reported that, after frontline healthcare workers, the CDC recommends that other frontline workers (such as teachers, grocery store employees, and EMS workers) and those over the age of 74, receive the vaccine. The New Mexico Department of Health has a vaccine registration portal where you can sign up to receive updates on the availability of the vaccine. They say they will contact you when it's your turn.

The virus is overwhelming the population in numbers that were once unimaginable. We still have to be vigilant with physical distancing and wearing face masks. It also means that we will have to continue to get tested for COVID-19 when it is warranted.
Now is a good time for a reminder on when it's appropriate to get tested for COVID-19. According to the NYTimes, there are four good reasons to get a COVID test:

  1. You have symptoms such as dry cough, fatigue, headache, or loss of sense of taste and smell;
  2. You’ve been exposed;
  3. You’re traveling; and
  4. If you have access to widespread community testing.

Most of us do not have access to widespread and easily accessible testing, so let’s focus on the first three reasons.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, get tested as soon as possible while also quarantining. If you’ve been exposed, it is best to wait five to six days AFTER exposure to get a test. You should quarantine for at least seven days and receive a negative test result before returning to “normal” activity. For those traveling and wanting to test as a precaution, try to get negative test before and after you arrive at your destination. As always, it remains a best practice to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing even if you test negative. Click here for a great overview of testing protocols.

If you test positive, make sure to isolate at home away from others and carefully monitor your symptoms. Obviously, you should seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen. Although it can be frightening, familiarize yourself with the more severe consequences of COVID-19. The University of Maryland offers a very clear explanation of when to go to the ER or hospital when dealing with COVID-19.
Community Connections
Kitchen Angels was fortunate to have so many businesses step up this year to assist us with funding. Since we were unable to hold our fundraising events as we do each year, we had to rely on the exceptional generosity of these kind businesses.

We couldn't safely have dinner parties in people's homes, so our Feasting with Friends was sponsored by the following businesses:
Caroline Russell of Sotheby's International Realty and partner Jeff Thomas delivering meals on Thanksgiving day.
Century Bank, First Citizens Bank, Guadalupe Credit Union, Kaune's Market, Santa Fe Spirits, United Healthcare, and US Bank.

Thanksgiving dinner was sponsored by Clearinghouse CDFI, and what a meal it was! Cindy Levorah from Homeowners Financial Group sponsored Spirit of Giving. Sotheby's International Realty sponsored the Christmas meal this year.

We are truly grateful to have such supportive businesses helping us to keep our homebound neighbors fed. Thank you all!
Thank You
Thanks from Lauren . . .

You all sure know how to keep a secret! In all my 50 years, I've never once had someone throw me anything resembling a surprise party. It's been a tough year, and turning 50 in lock-down seemed grim. The volunteer cards, gifts and treats did so much to lift my spirits. I was so shocked to see the lovely display that Jeanette assembled - I thought it couldn't possibly be for me. I figured someone died and it was an offrenda! It's been my sincerest honor to work with you all and get to know you. I'm looking forward to future years when we can once more gather and chat and share stories of our lives. Thank you all for your kindness.
Kay Jenkins has been keeping our client slips dotted correctly this year- which is no small task.
We are very grateful that the 2020 holiday season was smooth and mostly uneventful. With COVID cases exploding during the late fall and early winter months, our volunteers have been on their best behavior. Lauren talked with many folks who had to make difficult decisions about whether or not to see family and travel. Everyone had to weigh the risks and benefits and come to their own conclusions, but they kept us in the loop, and made sure they stepped back when necessary.

Many thanks to all of the volunteers who worked extra shifts and drove delivery routes at the last minute. The interminability of our volunteers has been unmistakable and a true inspiration. Thank you all for helping us make the best of 2020.
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.