Makayla Grijalva | News-Bulletin photo
The Los Lunas Fire Department handed out 50 boxes with everything a family needs for Thanksgiving dinner, funded by donations by Village employees and community donations. The department partners with schools to hand out the boxes to families who otherwise would have a hard time providing a Thanksgiving dinner, or people they encounter while on call.

Makayla Grijalva | News-Bulletin photo
Belen Moose Lodge 1680 donated 25 boxes filled with items for Thanksgiving dinner to pass out to seniors in the community or anyone else in need of a holiday dinner. From left, Toby Jaramillo, Manuel Baca, Joe Shivers, Lester Arceneaux, and Sandy Jaramillo, all members of the Moose Lodge, show off this year’s donations.

Julia M. Dendinger | News-Bulletin photo
Gerry Troyer, CEO of Belen Railway Employee Credit Union, center, stopped by the Belen Area Food Pantry to present the organization with a $2,000 check. BAFP volunteer Robin Holbrook, left, and President Joe Portio, right, accepted the donation.

Julia M. Dendinger | News-Bulletin photo
Belen Area Food Pantry President Joe Portio, left front, and volunteer Robin Holbrook, right front, accepted 160 1-pound packages of ground beef from Jeffery Woods, adjutant, VFW Post 2387, left rear, and Mike Wallace, NM 47-3 Combat Vets Association chapter commander, right rear. Woods and Wallace said the donation was a way for their organizations to support veterans and their families in the community. If a local veteran needs assistance, they can contact Woods at 505-417-4224 or jeffery_woods@hotmail.com, or Wallace at 505-388-8689 or mwallace1313@yahoo.com.

Julia M. Dendinger | News-Bulletin photo
Belen Area Food Pantry volunteer Tom Bradley stands next to some of the dried goods Lowe’s Grocery donated to the pantry for the holiday season. These items will be added to the truckload of goods donated by Belen High School students after their Spirit Week food drive.

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Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.

Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.