Project Summary

This Policy Workgroup is NOT intended to duplicate government emergency response efforts. Please contact your local emergency response manager if you or someone you know is experiencing urgent food or water insecurity.

The Food, Hunger, Water, Ag Policy Workgroup has been focused on COVID-19 response and recovery during the pandemic, as well as policy to strengthen local food systems and end hunger. The Policy Workgroup includes a diverse range of professionals and stakeholders dedicated to the coordination of community responses to complement government efforts. The Policy Workgroup came together in 2019 to support the following policy efforts:

  1. Increase data-driven decisions about food and hunger that support local food systems.
  2. Strengthen local food systems with policies that promote resiliency in local agriculture.
  3. Develop and support family-friendly policies that address hunger-related income inequalities.

Emergency Resources

Emergency requests should be made through County and Pueblo/Tribal emergency managers. Please contact your emergency response manager to initiate a response to emergency food, hunger, and water needs. They are responsible for coordinating resources around food, water, and hunger and fair distribution of personal protective needs with front-line relief providers.

If you are experiencing, or are aware of urgent hunger/water relief needs, please contact Mariana Padilla in the Governor’s Office via email at mariana.padilla@state.nm.us.


Press Releases


Community Resources

Food, Hunger, Water, Ag Policy Workgroup

The Policy Workgroup meets on the first Thursday of every month from 12:00 – 1:30 pm. For more information please contact Sharon Berman at sharon@nmfirst.org.

  • Zoom Link
  • Call 1-720-928-9299 
  • Meeting ID: 814-0594-0292

Funding & Philanthropy Action Team

The Funding & Philanthropy Action Team meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. For more information please contact Sharon Berman at sharon@nmfirst.org. Meeting notes are not available to the public.


Communications Action Team

The Communication Action Team met during 2020 to help coalition partners get the word out about the many efforts and needs across the state. In April 2021, the team opted to merge with the general policy workgroup. Meeting notes for past meetings are available below.


Policy & Advocacy Action Team

In April, 2021 the Policy & Advocacy Action Team opted to merge efforts with the general policy workgroup after the coalition’s hard work, good thinking and partnership leading up to and during the 2021 legislative session. Meeting notes for past meetings are available below.


Food Systems Action Team

The Food Systems Team opted in November 2020 to merge efforts with the Value Chain and Food Systems Team under our Agriculture Resilience Initiative. For more information contact Theresa Cardenas at theresa@nmfirst.org.

Meeting notes for past Food Systems Action Team meetings are available below.

Team Rosters

Get involved! If you would like to help strengthen local food systems and food security by joining the Food, Hunger, Water, Ag Policy Workgroup, please join us at your convenience.

Questions? Ask Sharon Berman at sharon@nmfirst.org.

Funders Dedicated to COVID-19, Food, Hunger, and Water Relief

Learn about the sponsors of this initiative.

  • Catena Foundation is pleased to participate in efforts to help Native American communities in New Mexico. It is part of the New Mexico Community Foundation funding support for Tribes and Pueblo Communities in New Mexico and surrounding regions in responding to COVID-19. Contact name: Alex DeGolia, adegolia@catenafoundation.com mwight@catenafoundation.com
  • Chamiza Foundation sent $50,000 in total to all 20 Pueblos. Funding can be used for any issues related to COVID-19; it is up to Tribal Leadership. Amanda Montoya,  executivedirector@chamiza.org. Read their funding profile for more information:  Chamiza Foundation
  • The Con Alma Foundation’s grants focus is on systemic rather than direct services. They are partnering with other funders to leverage resources towards relief efforts that reach rural and tribal populations, and are supporting efforts that create, strengthen infrastructures or that facilitate awareness of COVID-19 specific wellness webcasts, behavioral health/emotional support hotlines and journalism. Read their funding profile for more information: COVID 19: Con Alma Foundation
  • COVID-19 Resources for Native Communities: Visit this funding map developed by Roanhorse Consulting to help inform funding efforts in Native American communities across New Mexico.
  • First Nations has created the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to swiftly direct financial resources to Native communities on the frontlines of the crisis. They are deploying funds to Navajo Nation and several pueblos and native-led non-profits in NM, and the NM Foundation. Through this fund, donors can support Native communities overall, or donate specifically to the initiative to provide food and water directly to the Navajo Nation and the New Mexico Pueblos. Read the press release.
  • The Grant Plant, Inc. is deeply concerned about our nonprofit community as we all navigate new challenges in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This webpage is meant to provide grant-related resources for New Mexico nonprofits. It is updated.
  • The McCune Foundation is considering all relief efforts, however, most of our 2020 funds have been distributed. Read their funding profile for more information: COVID 19: McCune Funding Profile
  • New Mexico Association of Grantmakers Grantmaker Resources – Philanthropy’s Response for COVID-19
  • Sandia Labs is encouraging employee donations for, and awarding funding to, specific efforts/organizations including the UWCNM/Alb Community Fund Emergency Fund, Roadrunner Food Bank, and the Native American Relief Fund. We are opening our regularly scheduled Family Stability grant cycle on April 20 and anticipate that some grant requests will be to support COVID-19 relief efforts. Read their funding profile for more information: COVID 19: Sandia National Labs
  • Sacred Wind Communications Community Connect, Inc. is pleased to participate in efforts to help Native American communities in New Mexico. An application for funds from our non-profit organization is on our website under the tab “SWC Fund”.
  • The Santa Fe Community Foundation has established the COVID-19 Response Fund to address the critical gaps in services during the unprecedented Corona Virus pandemic.
  • The Thornburg Foundation is providing funds to existing grantee/awardees who are addressing COVID -19 hunger relief. Read their funding profile for more information: COVID 19: Thornburg Foundation
  • United Way of Central New Mexico is providing funds to the general public/501c3s/government. Priority will be given to any 501c3 nonprofit in central New Mexico. However, funding awards can be made elsewhere in the state. Apply now. Read their funding profile for more information: United Way of Central New Mexico Funding Profile
  • The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) is providing funds to existing grantees that provide relief in NM in rural, tribal and frontier communities.However, they are working with their national office to request additional funds that would contribute to collective efforts/funds (versus specifically for our grantees). Read their funding profile for more information: COVID 19: W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • COVID-19 Giving Guide: How To Donate To Reach The Most Marginalized. Learn more about ethical giving practices to marginalized communities.

Join Us!

If you are a funder dedicated to hunger relief and would like to join the Food, Hunger, Water, Agriculture Policy Action Team, please contact Lilly Irvin-Vitela at lilly@nmfirst.org.