The San Martin de Porres (SMDP) Soup Kitchen was established in July 1992 to serve those in the community who are in need of a nutritious, hot meal. SMDP Soup Kitchen is a non-profit entity and is registered as a 501(c)3 in the state of New Mexico.
Since 1992 the SMDP Soup Kitchen has been active in serving the needs of the hungry in the northern New Mexico communities . While it began as a small community outreach effort, (concentrating its attention on three meals a week) due to the expanded need in the community the kitchen is now open 5 days a week.
The SMDP Soup Kitchen is funded by donations received from different parishes and congregations, the Santa Fe Food Depot, as well as other community organizations and the community at large. The SMDP Soup Kitchen's mission includes serving a hot lunch to an average of 50-100 patrons per day and providing food baskets on a weekly basis to other needy families in northern New Mexico who are referred by a church group or state agency.
In co-operation with the City of Espanola and the local HUD program, SMDP Soup Kitchen operates out of the Apple Valley Senior Center. The facility is loaned to the SMDP Soup Kitchen rent and utility free by the Espanola Housing Authority.
Children, women, men, families, infant, toddler, preschool, elementary, middle and high school, young adult (19-25), and older adults.
Physically ill, physically disabled, homeless, unemployed, low-income, senior citizens.
The San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen serves all who are hungry and are in need of food, regardless of ethnicity, race or religion.
(Photo Credit: United Way of Northern NM) Sisters and Co-Founders of the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen: Suzan Roybal, Theodora Valdez and Erlinda Quintana
In April of 1989, three sisters, Theodora, Erlinda and Suzie embarked on a pilgrimage to Medjugorie. Their journey completely changed the direction their lives were headed. They knew that they had a new calling that shaped the life goals they once hoped to achieve. Upon the sister’s return from this life-changing experience they were compelled to research the possibility of opening a Soup Kitchen. This endeavor took almost two years of meetings, research and lots of legwork.
By summer of 1992, everyone involved was more than ready to see the results of all of the hard work pay off. Thanks to some very special people, the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen opened its doors at the MG Hall in Ranchitos. Tragically, only 16 months later, a fire took down the whole building that housed the kitchen. Just two weeks later, with the help from the City Fathers and the Director of HUD, the Soup Kitchen found a home in the Senior Center of Apple Valley. The facility is loaned rent and utility free by the Espanola Housing Authority.
While the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen might have begun as a small community outreach effort, really only concentrating its attention on three meals a week, it has now developed into a fully functioning operation. This is in large part to the volunteers rising to the occasion to meet the expanding needs in the community. The Soup Kitchen is now open 5 days a week, and is operated 100% by volunteers. Starting out with a handful of volunteers, about 35, the soup kitchen now has over 130 active volunteers and 35 auxiliary volunteers. The early annual budget was $3,000, but has now moved to an annual budget of over $90,000, thanks to grants and fundraisers. The biggest and most prolific fundraiser, being the Annual Chile Bowl Contest, which hosted by the wonderful people at the Santa Claran
The three sisters, Erlinda, Theodora and Suzan, pictured with their friend, Florida Ortega. Florida joined them on their trip to Medjugorie. She was a cancer survivor and was miraculously healed by the Virgin Mary. She went in thanksgiving as a promise for her healing.
Co-founder and Volunteer of SMDP Soup Kitchen, Bi-lingual Educator, currently retired
Co-founder and Volunteer of SMDP Soup Kitchen, currently retired
Co-founder and current Executive Director of SMDP Soup Kitchen
Administrator of SMDP Soup Kitchen
General Manger of SMDP Soup Kitchen
CPA and Volunteer at the SMDP Soup Kitchen
Director of Santa Lucia Providing Agency and Volunteer of the SMDP Soup Kitchen
"When you allow yourself to walk and talk with God, he allows great things to happen!" Angels come in many forms and fashions; big ones, little ones, powerful and weak ones, but they all come together as in the Body of Christ and we form a wonderful puzzle! And all of you my dearest Angels (my Volunteers), have allowed God to create a most effective and efficient organization, the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen! “
- Suzan Roybal, Executive Director