• New Mexico Grown Golden Chile Awards designed to celebrate the hard work of all nutrition providers

(Courtesy photo) Winners include (from left) Janice Mortensen, community services manager of senior programs and staffers Lanna Lucero, George Archibeque, Elaine Jaramillo and Desi Aragon.

Bernalillo — For the second consecutive year, Sandoval County’s Senior Program has earned the Golden Chile Award from New Mexico Grown in recognition of its innovative Senior Center food programming.

This top award honors a program that is mature and fruitful, according to New Mexico Grown, and recognizes the partnership and commitment to improving access to New Mexico Grown foods for all New Mexicans, according to a statement announcing the award released Sept. 14.

“Healthy communities are created by healthy economies, and when we support our local farmers a cascade of health benefits result—for the grower, the consumer, and the community as a whole. Sandoval County Senior Programs’ staff has done a remarkable job of helping to ensure food security for Sandoval Seniors. This award was hard earned and is well deserved,” said Community Services Director Anne Ryan.

The Golden Chile Award Program is managed and organized by the NM Grown Coalition, a network of public institutions, community-based organizations, and individuals working together to strengthen community food systems across New Mexico. Golden Chile Award levels include Golden Chile, Blossom, Sprout, and Seed. Applicant programs are evaluated in the following categories and must have at least one or more of the five core areas below:
• NM Grown Items Available on Menus
• NM Grown Cafeteria Promotions and Culturally Aligned Materials
• Edible Gardens and Outdoor Environments
• NM Grown Eaters’ Choice Activities
• Sustainability of the NM Grown Program