Feeding Families and Creating Community in Palisade

Santos Marquez and Cirilo Morales (l-r) have been working seasonally in Palisade orchards for several years and are regular guests at the Hospitality Center. In June, they were winners of a CMS bicycle raffle.

Child and Migrant Services (CMS) in Palisade offers encouragement, support and basic needs assistance to migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. This small, community-based nonprofit provides a variety of vital services year-round and shifts into high gear in the summertime to support the people who have traveled far to work in local orchards, vineyards and fields.

CMS’ Hospitality Center in the heart of Palisade is a place where farmworkers and their families can gather for respite and camaraderie. They may receive information and connection to community resources. Holiday celebrations and other activities help to build community and provide a sense of belonging.

From June through August, a hearty, home-style meal is prepared in CMS’ kitchen and offered free to farmworkers and their families three days/week. During less hectic months of growing and harvest, a weekly meal is offered.

Bumper crops of fruit made 2019 an exceptionally busy year! CMS has served 3,202 meals and interacted with guests hundreds of times since January, providing life skills coaching, English instruction, health care access assistance, support in times of crisis and more. Most of the workers hail from Mexico or other Latin American countries.

The CMS food pantry is stocked with donated staples and helpful hygiene and first aid products.

Few communities offer the kind of support to workers that CMS has been able to provide, thanks to the generosity of individuals, civic groups, churches, businesses, foundations and others. Alpine Bank has supported CMS for a number of years as the presenting sponsor of the Celebrate the Hands that Harvest /Las Manos que Cosechan annual fundraiser in July. Community volunteers are essential as well!  Learn more at migrantservicesgv.org.

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