KITCHEN ANGELS | 1222 Siler Rd Santa Fe, NM 87507 | 505.471.7780
JANUARY 2022
2021 - Looking Back with Gratitude

Another year completed and another just beginning. And 2022 marks our 30th anniversary. We delivered more than 135,000 meals to 508 clients in 2021 while maintaining all of the requisite protocols necessary to keep everyone safe and remain in operation. Our store, KITCHENALITY, stayed open, too! 
 
The year presented many challenges. Navigating the confusion and constantly changing updates about Covid wasn’t easy, but Kitchen Angels volunteers know how to take care of themselves, each other, and our clients. Not a single volunteer contracted Covid while at Kitchen Angels, and none of our clients became ill from an infected volunteer. Our volunteers screened themselves and stepped back anytime there was a potential exposure.

During the year, we upgraded the facility and made important improvements to the “back of house” of KITCHENALITY. We installed touchless sinks, light switches, and toilet seats in the restrooms, and applied a new protective coating to our roof to stop the nagging leaks that have persisted for many years. Some of the more visible improvements we completed are on the west side of the building - new stairs at the Kitchen Angels loading dock and a ramp behind KITCHENALITY . . . who hasn’t noticed the “safety red” railings? And everyone in the kitchen appreciates the new windows that open easily and facilitate airflow. Less obvious, but just as important, are the upgrades we’re making to the entire building's HVAC system. We’re confident the contractors will be finished in time for the January snows! 

We are grateful for our core group of volunteers who have been with us steadily through the past two years of pandemic life. They are the ones who regularly show up, week after week, and don't need to be told what to do or how to do it. They fill in when other shifts are short, and give lots of notice when they have to be absent (which rarely happens). These volunteers are unflappable and we couldn't have made it through the year without them.

We have some great volunteer statistics to report! Even though we had fewer active volunteers in 2021, the hours worked increased by 11%. Our volunteers are dedicated, with 74% having been with us between 2-29 years! Of the 111 new volunteers that signed up last year, 82% of them are still active, and we're so happy they've become part of our family of angels!

Another shout out goes to the volunteers who stepped up during the holidays, enabling staff to have several three-day weekends. We had never sent out three entire meals at once, and it took a lot of work and coordination. A special word of thanks to the delivery prep teams for working those very intense, busy, and complicated pre-holiday shifts.
Holiday helpers: Robin F. delivering poinsettias, delivery prep team: Karen B, Juliana L,
Connor P, Bernadette P & Dan K, Driver: Aaron B. delivering a holiday gift box
In 2021, we served 45 clients who were isolating due to Covid exposure or an active infection, and did so safely! One client who contracted Covid said “I know I didn’t get it from your drivers! Your people are impeccable!” We worked with the New Mexico Department of Health's Public Health Division to put entire families on service when a parent or caregiver contracted Covid so the whole family could recover together.

We delivered holiday cheer to our homebound clients through our Spirit of Giving project. Each client received a gift box wrapped by volunteers and a poinsettia (donated yearly by Newman's Nursery). Because of a small Pet Angels grant, we were able to send out extra nice pet treats for the holidays. Thanks to Christy Vasquez and Thom Eberhardt for baking and bagging doggie treats!

Last, but not least, our Caring Callers program continues to reach homebound clients with a friendly phone call. In 2021, volunteer callers donated 884 hours of phone time to our clients. Friendships were made and connections helped to lessen feelings of loneliness.

We accomplished a lot in 2021 and the new year offers us plenty of opportunities to figure out how to continue to do all the things we want to do and how to do them safely, thoughtfully, and compassionately.
2022 - Looking Forward with Excitement

We look to the future of Kitchen Angels with hope, gratitude, and excitement for what's to come. Kitchen Angels is celebrating its 30 year anniversary in 2022 with some fun new events.

At the beginning of the year we'll have a video contest with a $500 grand prize! Participants will upload a 30 second or less video on how Kitchen Angels has impacted their life, and why it's important to them and the Santa Fe community. Categories are Food, Inspirational, or Comedy. In the spring we will have another Violet Crown movie event for volunteers. Winners of the video contest will be announced and we'll enjoy a private movie viewing. Stay tuned for more details.

During the year, Kitchen Angels will host quarterly cooking classes where guest chefs will teach their skills. Some of you may remember our Local Organic Meals on a Budget cooking classes. This will be similar, and with a reasonable ticket price.

We love to celebrate in style and we'll be hosting another concert at the Santa Fe Opera in the fall. If you haven't experienced a show in this beautiful space, this will be your opportunity. We will announce the headliner later in the year.

As we celebrate three decades of service to the community, we want to acknowledge the many volunteers who have contributed kindness, strength, money and energy to Kitchen Angels. We say it all the time . . . we simply couldn't do it without you! Thank you.
Tasty Tidbits
Happy new year to all the foodies out there! What are you excited to try (or jettison) from your pantries and refrigerators this year? How about we start (no pun intended) with the first meal of the day: breakfast. Since going back to "office life," many of us might have started skipping out or skimping on breakfast, but for a lot of people a balanced breakfast makes all the difference in a productive day. A high-protein breakfast can keep you full till lunchtime, help make your morning more efficient, and even help stave off the post-lunchtime slump.
 
One breakfast staple to look at this month is oatmeal . . . since it is National Oatmeal Month! We’re not talking about the instant, turns-to-cement when cold kind, but the real-deal made-from-scratch oatmeal. Here is a basic recipe from Cookinglight.com that uses whole rolled oats, milk, and honey. One of the best things about oatmeal is that once you’ve mastered the basics, it is extremely easy to customize using sweet or savory ingredients, and alternative milks and sweeteners.

For those who prefer a savory breakfast, here is a recipe for a savory breakfast porridge topped with eggsBudget Bytes also has a list of savory oatmeal toppings that can help stimulate some creativity for a dish that has been pigeonholed as sweet. This could become your new go-to winter breakfast . . . enough to warm you up but not weigh you down.
For those with a sweet tooth, Cooking Classy has some sweeter oatmeal recipes topped with fresh fruit or peanut butter. Can’t get it together enough in the morning to make any of these recipes before work? Try overnight oats like those we make for our clients here at Kitchen Angels. You prep them in the evening, leave them in the fridge overnight, and have a perfectly tasty and quick breakfast ready in the morning.

For those of you who want to leave the decision to the experts, here what dietitians say is the #1 Best Oatmeal to Eat.
Delivery Volunteers (3:30-5:30)
  • Tuesday, Route #8 (Jaguar Dr.)
  • Wednesday, Route #16 (S. Cerrillos Rd.)
  • Friday, Route #1 (S. Rufina St.)
  • Friday, Route #3 (N. on Cerrillos)
  • Friday, Route #4 (St. Michael's corridor)

Substitute Delivery Volunteers
  • Monday - Friday (3:30-5:30)

Kitchen Volunteers
  • AM shifts - substitute - M-F (10-12)
  • PM shift - substitute - M-F (1-3)

Delivery Prep Volunteers (1:00 - 4:15)
  • Fridays (you might even learn to juggle)
  • M-F Substitutes
Continuing Education
Apart from New Year’s resolutions, one tradition people are beginning to take part in is Dry January. For those of you who don’t know, Dry January is when people abstain from alcoholic drinks during the entire month of January in an effort to "reset" after the indulgent holiday season. Beginning in 2012 as an initiative by Alcohol Change UK, millions of people participate in Dry January as a way to start fresh in the New Year, both by saving money on alcohol and skipping the hangovers. Particularly in 2020 and 2021, now moving into 2022, the Covid pandemic has shown how dependent many of us are on alcohol for coping with stressful situations. Drinking has, on average, increased during the pandemic. According to an article by NBC, “Almost three-quarters of people who took part in Dry January said they slept better and 67% had more energy . . . More than half, 58%, lost weight and 54% reported better skin.” Dry January also gives people who think they might have a problem with alcohol a chance to try out sobriety without the specter of giving up alcohol forever.
 
Dry January is just one small facet of the larger tradition of New Year’s resolutions. It is easy to make New Year’s resolutions (eat healthier, exercise more, call mom every Sunday) but it's much harder to keep them. The site VeryWell has ten tips for those who want to actually try to keep their resolutions. It is important to have specific goals in mind. “Exercise more” might be too broad, but “go to the gym twice a week” might be more doable. It's also measurable. It is also good to start in smaller increments. Want to cook more at home? Start with one meal a week and then work yourself up to three or four. We have to remember that change is a process and takes time. Don’t feel bad if you mess up a few times or forget about your resolution till March. Any time of year works for a New Year’s resolution.

Lauren's tried and true method for keeping resolutions is to be curious and scientific! “I wonder what will happen if I stop eating sugar for three months" (curiosity). She weighs herself, takes before, during, after pictures, and notes how she feels as often as possible (science-ish). Once the three month mark is achieved, she decides to extend the experiment by setting another goal, abandon the experiment if the results are undesirable, or adopt a version of the new habit into her daily life (best-case scenario). It's all about establishing new, sustainable, and hopefully healthier, habits.
Community Connections...
Our clients enjoyed some spectacular meals during the December holiday season. The meals were sponsored by some very generous businesses in the Santa Fe community.

Winter Solstice meals were sponsored by Nusenda Credit Union. The clients enjoyed turkey meatloaf or black bean lentil burgers, and cream of asparagus soup along with fresh-baked sourdough bread.

For the Christmas meal, clients loved the roast beef, baked chicken thighs or veggie loaf, along with rice pilaf, green beans with cranberries, and cherry crumble! Two generous portions of salad and coleslaw were included, which made some clients very happy. This enormous meal was sponsored by Sotheby's International Realty.

New Year's Day meal was donated by Santa Fe Association of Realtors. The clients were grateful for the baked ham, roast chicken or vegetable stew with buttered herb noodles, and maple carrots.

An extra word of thanks goes out to Enterprise Bank. Their generous financial and volunteer support has been especially welcome during the holiday season.

We love our community partners who make it possible to prepare such delicious food for our homebound clients during the holidays.

I you know of a business or agency that would like to sponsor a holiday meal, please contact Dwayne at dtrujillo@kitchenangels.org or 505-471-7780 x 204.
Thank You
For twenty five plus years Kitchen Angels would gather annually to celebrate our volunteer anniversary milestones. Although the pandemic has prevented us from doing so the past few years, we still want to celebrate the extraordinary people who have volunteered with our organization for a decade and more!
25 YEARS
Maryann McGraw

15 YEARS
Karen Benjamin
Raphiel Benjamin
Don Cooksey
Thom Eberhardt
Carmon McCumbee
Christie Vasquez
Greg Wells
 
10 YEARS
Ada Browne
Emily Garcia
Linda Hayden
Mike Hayden
Sheila Henke
Judy Lee
Juliana Lujan
Lily O’Leary
Sally Saunders
Katie Sayre
Karen Wolfe-Mattison
Your dedication to supporting the community and helping end hunger is an inspiration to us all. We are truly grateful for the countless hours you have donated cooking, delivering meals, and everything in between. Here's to many more happy years feeding our neighbors in need.
VOLUNTEER MILESTONE
ANNIVERSARIES

1 Year
Beverly Barnatt
Carol Grubbe
Pam Homer
Claire Jacquez
Jesse Kain
Kim Kurian Hiner
Keith Kushner
Yash Morimoto
Svenja Soldovieri

5 Years
Leah Afshar
Jeanie Leesman
Hal Logsdon
Tim Webster

10 Years
Dan Friedman

IN MEMORIAM

Celebrating the lives of our volunteers and clients.

Melanie Winans
Lee S.



Thank you for your on-going dedication and support of Kitchen Angels and the community of Santa Fe. 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.