21st Annual Holiday Giving Tree

Celebrating Over Two Decades of Sharing, Caring, and Cooperation for a Brighter Future

During each holiday season, Co-op members have shared resources and helped fulfill the holiday needs and wishes of children experiencing hardships in our communities for the last 21 years. Every year we ask for your help in letting some very special children and families know that we, as a community, despite tough economic times, will continue to be there for one another.

Through this program, we make the holiday wishes of approximately 600 children in protective custody and foster care a reality. Over the years, you, our loyal Co-op members and shoppers, our staff and child advocates from participating agencies have, through this program, provided for the needs of thousands of children. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you, and hope that you’ll be able to give a gift again this year!

How it Works

giving tree_light

  •  Sustainably grown and harvested trees (purchased from Delancy Street’s addiction recovery program) will go up at ALL Co-op locations December 1.
  • The ornaments have the name, age, and a holiday wish for each child, allowing you to choose a gift you will enjoy giving and they will enjoy receiving. Please put your name and ornament number on the sheets attached to the giving tree at each store in case you lose the ornament.
  • Please return the gifts to the Co-op by Monday, December 14 so we can get them back to the agencies and to the children in time. Please, please do honor this deadline.
  • Some families and foster families have more than one child in the program. When one child gets a gift and another does not (because an ornament is taken but a gift is not returned to the Co-op in time) it can be devastating for that child.
  • Please tape the “ornament” with the child’s name and agency onto the gift. To protect the confidentiality and the identities of the children, each ornament has a code on it. Taping the colored ornaments that have the agency name and an ornament code number to the top of the gift will help us get your gift to the right child.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Robin at 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667, or e-mail her at robins@lamontanita.coop

Participating Agencies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Day School

For well over 40 years, PB&J Family Services, Inc. has been working to keep children safe and help families survive. PB&J continues to pioneer innovative approaches to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and the preservation of the family through interactive parenting and bonding programs in its Peanut Butter & Jelly Therapeutic Preschools, from their home-based programs and in their TEENS program at the Cuba, NM, High School — focusing on breaking the often generational cycle of family dysfunction.

In a program that serves children with an incarcerated parent at one of four New Mexico prisons, PB&J works to break the cycle of crime. Often angry and feeling abandoned, these children are six to eight times more likely to be imprisoned than other youngsters. Other programs work with middle and high school youth in the South Valley through the KidPACT program. More than 80 percent of the families PB&J works with make progress toward meeting their goals. Their programs are so successful with governmental support they are in the process of expanding to serve new communities.

Your gift helps them have a holiday season to remember. Mil gracias! For further information you may contact Donna Brew at (505) 877-7060 or visit pbjfamilyservices.org

Enlace Communitario

Enlace Comunitario (EC)’s works with Latino immigrants to eliminate domestic violence and strengthen the community. Over 15 years EC has created a dynamic continuum of services for both victims of domestic violence and their children including: safety planning; assessment; individual and group counseling; referrals to services (housing, health, financial, etc.); parenting and life-skills classes; legal advocacy; economic development, crisis intervention and community education. EC’s innovative approach goes beyond providing services to include advocacy, leadership development and community organizing projects to make long term systemic changes and strengthen the community.

Domestic violence affects families from all backgrounds. Unfortunately, women from immigrant communities are often at greater risk and are less likely to access needed services. They face cultural and language barriers to police and social services, increased threats of becoming separated from their children through deportation or international child abduction, less access to public benefits and less awareness of their plight by churches, schools and the community at large.

Please contact them at (505)246-8972 or at enlacenm.org with questions or if you want to support Enlace.

New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families

Bernalillo County Child Protective Services (CPS) is a division of the New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD). CYFD receives hundreds of reports every month regarding abuse/neglect of children. And while the mainstream media reports the problems now and again, the thousands of children helped by CYFD generally goes unreported. Social workers investigate allegations and when needed intervene with families to ensure the safety of children. This intervention may consist of crisis counseling, referrals to community resources, or other community supports, or in worst case scenarios the Department requests custody of the children. Children in CYFD custody are placed in a licensed foster home.

Foster parents give temporary care to children while they are in CYFD custody providing a protective and safe home, structure, nurturing, and assistance in preparing the child to return to his/her home, or to be adopted. In New Mexico everyone, is mandated by law, to report child abuse, neglect or exploitation. To report child abuse or neglect please call: Metro Area, 841-6100 or Statewide, 1-800-797-3260.

Bernalillo County has a group of dedicated foster families, but the need is greater than the number of available families. If you feel you could provide a safe home for children in CYFD custody please call Foster a Future, at 1-800-432-2075, and visit cyfd.org to find out more. Working together we can make a difference in a child’s life.

New Mexico Kids Matter—Nobody deserves—or longs for—a happy holiday more than a child in foster care. There are close to one thousand children in foster care in Albuquerque. These are children who are in state’s custody through no fault of their own. This year New Mexico Kids Matter (CASA), a non-profit organization that trains community volunteers to advocate for children who are in foster care, are working with CYFD and are providing support to this agency.

All you need to do to be an elf is come into the Co-op pick an ornament, gather your family and have fun picking a present that will truly be appreciated. Please return your unwrapped gift by Dec. 14th. Every child is a profound responsibility to us all and we thank you for your generosity.

Blueberry Scones


From Adrienne Weiss

These easy-to-prepare vegan blueberry scones make a great breakfast treat. Or, grab one or two when on-the-go. Yum!

Makes 10 scones

Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups whole wheat spelt or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed oil
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup (for brushing) agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • *1/2 cup blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spray very lightly with oil.
  2. Place flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix. Add oil, 1/3 cup agave nectar, water and vanilla and mix for 30 seconds. Gently fold in blueberries.
  3. Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and brush each scone with agave nectar. Continue to bake for an additional 8 minutes, until lightly golden.
  4. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

*Frozen wild blueberries work beautifully when fresh berries are out of season.

You’re Invited

holiday parties slider

Join us at all our Co-ops for holiday festivities, natural foods samplings, craft fairs, music, friends and fun! And don’t forget to take an ornament off our Make a Child Smile Holiday giving trees, up at all locations December 1,  and make the season brighter for a child in need.

Sunday, December 6: Nob Hill Co-op, 2-5pm

  • 2:00pm—Dean Gibson: eclectic tin hand drums
  • 2:30pm—The Loren Kahn Puppet and Object Theater (for children of all ages)
  • 3:00pm—Emily E. Erb and Friends: classic and seasonal clarinet and French horn duets
  • 3:30pm—The Loren Kahn Puppet and Object Theater (for children of all ages)
  • 4:00pm—Temporary Tattoos: folk acoustic

Saturday, December 12: Santa Fe Co-op, 12:30-3:30pm

  • 1:30–3:30pm—Brian Bennett and Catherine Donovan

Saturday, December 12: Valley Co-op, 2-5pm

  • 2:30pm—Dean Gibson: eclectic tin hand drums
  • 3:30pm—Mosaic Woodwind Trio: classic and seasonal

Saturday, December 19: Westside Co-op, 11am-4pm

  • 11:30am—Mosaic Woodwind Trio: classic, seasonal
  • 1:00pm— Zia Conservatory: folk, seasonal acoustic
  • 2:30pm—Jazz Brasileiro: Bossa Nova

Nob Hill Holiday Tastings


Saturday, Nov. 14, Noon – 2pm, the Nob Hill store will be sampling holiday meal favorites from turkey to yams to walnut loaf, vegan cornbread and more! And, stop by the deli counter to try a variety of holiday pies available this winter season. Yumm!

Cast your Vote!


Help pick the newest members of our Board of Directors! Now through November 14, voting is open in the Board elections. This is always an exciting time for La Montañita as Co-op owners exercise one of the many benefits of ownership through casting their vote, and also help to uphold the second of the seven cooperative principles: Democratic Member Control.

The Co-op is governed by a nine-person Board of Directors who each serve three-year terms. Each year the Co-op ownership normally elects three new board members, but this year it we have two additional Board positions open as well. You can learn more about the 2015 Board candidates here.

Your vote truly counts in this “one owner, one vote” democratic system, as the Board represents all the owners of the Co-op and as such is legally responsible for the operation of the business. The Board also works to form a vision to steer the Co-op into the future.

When you’re ready, visit our voting site to cast your ballot!

Donate-a-Dime Organization of the Month: Roadrunner Food Bank


Every month, La Montañita sponsors a local community-based organization through our Donate-a-Dime bag program.

By Brian Brown, Roadrunner Food Bank

Hunger is a serious issue in New Mexico. According to Feeding America, one in five people is at risk of hunger. The situation for our children is much worse with nearly 30% or one in three children at risk of hunger.

For more than 35 years, Roadrunner Food Bank has been committed to solving hunger across our state. Every week, we provide enough food to reach 70,000 hungry people who worry and struggle to put enough food on the table throughout the month. More than half of the people in our food lines have someone employed in their household. The remaining are seniors and the disabled. Low wages force the poor into our food lines every month. The poor and hungry are hurt FIRST and worst during times of economic instability and make tough choices to survive.

Research shows there is a link between health and hunger. Hungry homes have a greater number of people who have high blood pressure, diabetes and general poor health. In 46% of households experiencing hunger have someone who is in “less than good” health. Another 25% of hungry households said they have a family member in “poor health.” In hungry homes, 75% report purchasing inexpensive unhealthy food as the most common way to have some food to eat at home.

Research shows that more than 63 million meals are missing from the plates of hungry people across our state. Year after year, we continue to increase our food distribution, but the meal gap is still very serious. For every meal we currently distribute, the meal gap suggests we need to be able to provide nearly two more.


  • 89% of hungry households have a yearly income of less than $20,000
  • 68% of people we already serve plan to obtain food on a regular basis from the Food Bank and our network of partners
  • It is a myth that only the homeless need and seek help with food. Research shows that 89% of hungry people live in permanent housing such as a home or an apartment.
  • 57% report receiving SNAP benefits. Of those households, 94% said SNAP DID NOT last the entire month and must stand in a food line for help with food the rest of the month.

Roadrunner Food Bank is a distribution center supplying food to more than 500 partner agencies throughout the state and several regional food banks. The Food Bank also distributes food through direct service hunger programs. Two have recently been updated to increase the amount of food.

The Childhood Hunger and Senior Hunger Initiatives bring a combination of hunger-relief programs to schools, low-income senior housing sites, senior centers and other locations where people congregate to receive food on a regular basis. These initiatives allow us to t riple the amount of food going to vulnerable populations.


Give. For every $1 you donate to the Food Bank, we are able to distribute five meals.

Volunteer. People from all walks of life are welcome to volunteer including families, schools, business, civic organizations, etc.

Online Food Drive. Host a food drive—virtually. Register a team at www.rrfb.org/ofd to start raising funds among friends, family and colleagues for the Food Bank.

Tour. Let us take you on a tour. Invite 5-10 people to join you.

Advocate. Contact us to learn about how you can help advocate to protect hunger programs in our country.

For More information or to make a donation go to www.rrfb.org

In Loving Memory


It is with heavy hearts that La Montañita Co-op announces the passing of our General Manager Bob Tero. Bob truly embodied the cooperative spirit, both professionally and personally. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be dearly missed.


Bob Tero's official Co-op portrait

Bob’s official La Montañita Co-op portrait.


Bob and his girls

Bob enjoying some quality time with his beloved granddaughter and daughter.


Visiting Tucumcari

Bob drove the van that took representatives of all our stores (Gallup included!) to Tucumcari Cheese Factory in 2011 for a tour — then took the group to lunch.


We will miss you Bob!

Holiday Chutney


Serves: 12

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1–2 hours


  • 1 can orange juice concentrate
  • 1 bag frozen cranberries
  • 2 apples, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 T ground allspice
  • 1 T ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 dried chile, minced or 1 T chile powder (optional)
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 5 dried apricots, minced
  • 5 dried figs, minced
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T molasses
  • About 1-2 cups water


Add all the ingredients to a soup pot and simmer on low for a 1-2 hours (can be done in a crock pot). Remove cinnamon sticks before serving. It is best to prepare the chutney at least a day before serving. Goes well with meat, rice, soups, oatmeal, etc. The flavors will meld and deepen with age. Can be frozen in ice cube trays and then placed in a freezer container for easily thawed single servings.

Spook-tacular Halloween Deals


This October, we have some spook-tacular deals flying in for Halloween!

  • Almond Dream Pumpkin Spice Beverage (32oz) on sale for $2.39
  • Endangered Species Milk Chocolate Halloween Squares on sale for $6.99

And parents, be sure to bring your trick-or-treaters to our Nob Hill store on Halloween Day for a free treat! While you’re at it, pick up a local pumpkin—we have a huge selection ready to carve into scary jack-o’-lantern creations or bake into tasty Fall pies.

Sales are active now through 10/31, while supplies last.

Donate-a-Dime Organization of the Month: NM Immigrant Law Center


By Jennifer Landau

Editor’s Note: Over the past weeks, my email inbox as well as the mainstream and alternative news outlets have been flooded with scenes of great human distress, loss, fear and suffering as millions of people flee both economic and physical violence. It rests with all of us to rise to a higher level of justice, tolerance and compassion. Given what seems to be one of the world’s great modern migrations, it seems more than appropriate to acknowledge and support the work of our New Mexico Immigrant Law Center.

Founded in 2010, the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center is dedicated to preventing separation of immigrant families. In addition to ensuring family unity, we seek to strengthen immigrant families by advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. We envision a New Mexico in which all people – regardless of their race, immigration, or economic status – have equal access to justice, as well as access to education, government resources, and economic opportunities, and are able to engage fully in the civic and economic life of our neighborhoods and community.

Access to high-quality immigration services provided by NMILC enables immigrants to obtain legal status that can lead to better jobs, access to credit and bank accounts, reunification with family members, access to healthcare, increased educational opportunities for children and adults, and full participation in the civic life of our neighborhoods and communities. While gaining immigration status brings a certain level of economic and family stability, naturalization creates opportunities for newcomers to fully participate in the civic life of their communities.

Over the years we have become a leader in deportation defense, asylum, and humanitarian defense for survivors of crimes and children. We have served hundreds of New Mexican families, trained law students and volunteer attorneys, and presented at numerous public events and Continuing Legal Education programs. We have built a team of four attorneys, full-time Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Public Allies volunteers, numerous law and Latin American studies interns, and community volunteers.

We work on collaborative efforts to provide bundled services in tandem with community partners that address other barriers to increasing earning and asset development for immigrant families. With this strategy we are able to have a greater impact on the families that we collectively serve. Because we recognize the legal needs of immigrant families are intertwined with social service, health, and educational barriers, we have Pathways Navigators that assist our clients with psychosocial, medical, economic, and educational barriers by connecting them to existing services and support networks in the community.

Because we are the only legal service provider in the state to offer assistance to families facing deportation, the need for our services has been tremendous. We have discovered that many of the families facing deportation would have been on a path to citizenship if they had proper legal information when they were children. As a result, we developed a preventative legal model working in strategic partnership with schools and organizations that provide social and medical services to immigrant children and their families. Our goal is to expand access to education and services.

We are honored to be the Donate-a-Dime Organization of the Month. Please shop at La Montañita Co-op and donate your bag credit to help us continue to provide these services.