Kit Elliott graduated from New Mexico State University class of 1962, earned English, Spanish, and Secondary Education degrees, and became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) instructor through Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Central New Mexico Community College. Born and raised in the military, Elliott remembers waiting in line for “Airlift” food distribution in 1948 Berlin, Germany. An alumna volunteer with Aggie Cupboard, Elliott speaks about NMSU campus food insecurity, and student homelessness dating back to the 1960s.
Whether working to increase awareness about fair trade, human rights, and women’s labor with Weaving for Justice, or attending to borderland migrants and economic refugees seeking medical care, emotional support, and asylum in the United States, Elliott’s statement that “The purpose of life is a life with purpose” makes light of a compassionate and tenacious volunteerism to help others succeed.
A member of New Mexico’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Red Cross’ Disaster Medical Assistant Team (DMAT), and the national Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Elliott’s career commitment to New Mexico’s public health continues to inspire volunteers who work to limit campus hunger and experiences of student homelessness. From Elliott’s perspective, it’s important to recognize healthful nutritional education, personal “Balance,” and to incorporate a well-rounded “Understanding of food” as NMSU students.
Aggie Cupboard program specialist Meg Long first became involved with social service advocacy with women experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Long worked with AmeriCorps to improve housing conditions for South Dakota Native Americans, and lived in Kenya, East Africa with Peace Corps as a HIV/AIDS prevention educator. In Portland, Oregon, Long became a certified Living Yoga “Trauma-informed” and “Recovery–sensitive” instructor for those experiencing substance abuse and recovery from incarceration.
With Sociology and Social Work degrees from Western Michigan University, and Masters of Public Health from New Mexico State University, Long recognized the need for increased student access to nutritional food sources. Originally introduced to the campus community in 2012 as “NMSU Food Pantry,” the Aggie Cupboard helps to increase supplemental nutrition, housing resources, and community awareness about hunger in New Mexico. Long explains that Food Insecurity is “The state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quality of affordable, nutritious food.”
Aggie Cupboard provides free and confidential food assistance to the NMSU students, staff, and faculty. To help limit food insecurity, this important local access to food includes Doña Ana Community College, and the monthly Mobile Food Pantry (MFP). Aggie Cupboard nutritional assistance includes “Non-refrigerated nutritious food that typically includes staples such as protein, vegetables, soups, beans, rice, pasta and sauce,” while Mobile Food Pantry events work in collaboration with Casa de Peregrinos and Roadrunner Food Bank to deliver fresh fruits, vegetables, and other perishable goods, to the NMSU community.
Hope Stories 15 –– 1h 37m duration. Recorded at NMSU Aggie Cupboard on 906 Gregg Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico.