No Kid Hungry

New Mexico, along with five other states, was selected by No Kid Hungry and the American Public Human Services Association to receive an innovative technology project grant that will help reduce childhood hunger. The project leverages data and improves technology to enhance the interfaces and web services for the New Mexico Human Services Department's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, and the Department of Health's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Ultimately the project will make it possible to bidirectionally exchange participant data to help streamline and maximize program enrollment.

"No child in New Mexico should go hungry, but the pandemic has created hardships for many New Mexico families," said Deputy Secretary Angela Medrano. "This grant will assist us by enabling two computer systems from separate departments to talk to each other and help us identify individuals in need."

Once the project is completed, the Human Services Department will be able to provide more accurate and specific referral data that allows the Department of Health to conduct more proactive and effective outreach. This will drive increased WIC enrollment and consequently help New Mexico improve food security, positively improve children's weight, and provide additional support to diverse communities facing disproportionate levels of poverty.

The other grantees selected include:

• Hawaii Department of Human Services;

• Kansas Department for Children and Families & Kansas Department of Health and Environment;

• Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, North Carolina;

• Michigan Department of Health and Human Services;

• New Jersey Department of Human Services.

Del Norte Credit Union breaks ground in Española

Del Norte Credit Union broke ground April 7 on its second Española branch, set to open on the city's northeast side in the fall. This 5,100-square-foot facility originally was planned to be built a year ago, but was delayed by permitting and the coronavirus pandemic, Del Norte spokesman Diego Muñoz said.

The new branch will have 15 to 20 employees and may add a mortgage loan officer and a business services/lending officer. This branch will help the credit union better serve members in outlying rural communities, Muñoz said. Del Norte has six branches in Santa Fe, Española, Los Alamos and White Rock, with a seventh location expected to open in May. The new Española branch at 1720 N. Riverside Drive will be the eighth. The credit union serves more than 57,000 members throughout New Mexico and the United States.

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