Karen Currier studied Commercial Art in Dayton, Ohio, traveled to New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina; and, before settling in Las Cruces in the 1980s, lived on a kibbutz in Israel to learn Hebrew. An artist, Currier became fascinated with lapidary, decorative painting, and designing gourds alongside Avon cosmetic sales. Currier volunteered at Black Box Theater, joined book clubs, and explored New Mexico mountain peaks with Ocotillo Hikers of Las Cruces.
An early volunteer at Saint Andrew’s church original day-lunch program, Currier developed friendships that led to over five years of service with El Caldito Soup Kitchen. Many churches, local organizations, and students from New Mexico State University contribute to morning preparation and afternoon serving of El Caldito’s lunchtime meal. Volunteers are always requested to lend a gracious hand Sunday to Friday from 8 am to 2 pm for food service at 11:30 am to 1 pm.
Each Saturday, “To-go” sack lunch is available from 11:30 am to 12 pm.
Currier shares the concerns of many about maintaining consistent volunteer help, revising kitchen use of recyclable plastic containers, and serving clients the most nutritional daily meal possible. During busy summer months, El Caldito sometimes must work with a “Skeleton Crew” of cooks, lunch-line servers, and dining room helpers.
With compassionate service to those who visit, Currier speaks about the challenges of cooking from scratch from available El Caldito ingredients.