People Helping People, a food pantry in Rio Rancho, needs more help and more people.

Linda Stevenson, the founder of the organization, which also goes by PHP, says they had more help before the COVID pandemic occurred but are now running short of volunteers. “We just need volunteers that can lift 45 pound boxes,” Stevenson said.

PHP is free in and free out, meaning all products they have available are free and all items they have are donated. The pantry feeds and clothes the homeless of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque.

Stevenson says they currently have six people in their 70s helping out but they really need people on Fridays. PHP also holds an “open to the public” day on the last Saturday of every month. “We used to get people to do community service with us, but since the pandemic people can basically pay their way out of it,” she said.

Stevenson has reached out the the high schools for help as well but hasn’t had a response.

While they mostly just need people, Stevenson says homeless people are most in need socks and hygiene products. “Since homeless people are always on the go, they could use travel-sized hygiene products to make it easier on them,” she said. Hygiene products used to be donated by hotels before COVID hit, but Stevenson says they stopped completely.

According to Stevenson, the amount of homeless people has increased since the start of the pandemic.

“It got really hard for people and with the homeless park in Albuquerque closing, it has become more difficult for us to help,” she said.

She also says the stigma around the homeless community is causing people to refrain from volunteering.

“They’re just people. Just like you and I. They just need help,” she said.

Stevenson hopes to gain more people to volunteer that can handle the load and show kindness at the same time.

PHP is located in River’s Edge Mini Storage and their phone number is (505) 615-1951.