Love The People Feed The People Of Las Cruces!


Love the People, Feed the People of Las Cruces!

Las Cruces, New Mexico - August 27, 2018

Chihuahuan Desert Charities announces a fundraising campaign that ends October 1st, called “Love the People, Feed the People of Las Cruces!” Proceeds will support the DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program at Legacy Farm. DYGUP & SUSTAIN is a volunteer-driven educational program that is experiencing pain points due to their inability to scale up to meet the demands of their successful community service. Funds are needed immediately to invest in farming equipment, more crop seeds, improving curriculum, and to cover labor costs to allow for more supervised time with students. Fully tax-deductible charitable donations can be given on the internet at

The DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program is a non-profit dedicated to teaching regenerative organic agricultural practices in the Paso del Norte Region. DYGUP, an acronym for Developing Youth from the Ground Up, is available to youth ages 14-17. The SUSTAIN program targets adults over 18 and combines "Roots Of Success" Environmental Literacy Curriculum with intensive farmer training. The DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program has many partnerships in the community. Shahid Mustafa is the Program Director of DYGUP & SUSTAIN and owner of Taylor Hood Farms. Racheal Ryan is the Program Manager of DYGUP & SUSTAIN and owner of Backyard Farms LC. Land and water are donated by First Christian Church. Students at Las Cruces High School may attend the DYGUP program as an elective course. Chihuahuan Desert Charities serves as the fiscal sponsor for DYGUP & SUSTAIN.

"I see a transformation in these students. The teens come into the program having an understanding of how food production impacts the environment, but the hands-on farming experience makes the lesson more comprehensible. The students leave the farm fully grasping how important it is to be a good land steward," said Shahid Mustafa, Program Director.

First Christian Church has donated the land for the urban farm, recently named, “Legacy Farm”. This name symbolizes their commitment to a healthy, bountiful legacy for their community. One church member expressed, “I’m no longer embarrassed by the church out back. Instead, I’m thrilled by its use and productivity as well as service and education within our larger community.” While another church member said, “I love the gardens and to see the land used in such a beautiful way. What a blessing to see barren space blooming!”

An environmental science teacher shared with us that she had several students who continually cut class, "but they never skip on the days we go to the farm!" Students have even asked if they can bring their families to the program, demonstrating their enthusiasm for the program. Another student expressed how they felt empowered that they could make a difference in fighting climate change after learning these hands-on lessons on ecology at the DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program.

The DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program needs your support to overcome barriers to their growth. A program so successful in its mission deserves funding to ensure long-term stability. Invest right away in DYGUP & SUSTAIN on the internet at

Heather Howell, Executive Director
(575) 323-9001