Candelaria said the San Felipe, which is located between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, has been hit especially hard by COVID-19.

“So the need right now is pretty great. As you know we’ve been hit pretty hard by the pandemic within our own community, and right now there’s still a closure of the Pueblo with limited access in and out, so we’re encouraging our elders to stay home and providing them the necessities they need to get through this pandemic,” she said.

Santa Fe Fiesta Council President Aaron Garcia said they also accepted donations of face masks, hand sanitizer and other PPE.

“Two months ago we did one benefiting the city of Santa Fe’s seniors so we want to continue doing food drives—especially in a time of need. Who would have thought this pandemic would be in the spot right now at this point,” he said.

Los Caballeros De Vargas was a co-sponsor of the event.  Gary Delgado with Los Caballeros said they just wanted to help in any way they could.

“We’re all in this together and the only way to survive this is to stay together and helping each other is our best bet,” he said.

Candelaria said the donations will make a huge difference for the hundreds of Pueblo elders she serves.

“It makes a huge difference. It relieves a lot of the stress and worry about wondering where they’re going to get what they need and it gives them that hope that there’s people out there willing to help us and to help our elders get what they need,” she said. “It really does give them a quality of life that makes them happy and continues to push them to keep wanting to thrive in our communities.”

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