Western New Mexico University Planning Council will host a public forum on Wednesday, January 25th at 6pm to gather input from members of the university community, students, and WNMU employees on suggestions and community participation in the process to update the WNMU Strategic Plan. The public forum will take place at J. Cloyd Miller Library and the public are encouraged to join in-person. To join virtually, go to the zoom link below. https://wnmu.zoom.us/j/89471109727

New Mexico state officials provided a briefing on Thursday, January 19th about the end of temporary extra Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. According to the New Mexico Human Services Department live news conference, the HSD announced the end of extra SNAP benefits. The SNAP program provides food assistance to one-fourth, 23.6%, of New Mexicans. The federal government approved emergency food assistance known as SNAP emergency allotments in the early stages of the pandemic. A Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed at the end of December 2022 causing a rapid change to SNAP. The federal government will divert the current funding used to pay emergency allotments to execute a permanent summer EBT program that will begin in 2024. The change will impact 516,537 New Mexicans. The last month for federal SNAP emergency allotments will be February 2023 and in March 2023 regular SNAP benefits will resume.

The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department will administer the Summer Food Service Program for Children to help address the gap in Children’s nutritional needs during the summer months. Play and quality time should be the focus of families once the school year ends, not wondering where their next meal will come from. The SFSP principle purpose is to provide free meals to children, 18 years of age and under during the summer months and unanticipated school closures. Local organizations who are interested in administering the program contact the Family Nutrition Bureau at 505-841-4856.