by Patrick Hayes, KOB TV
June 26, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is promising to end child hunger in New Mexico within a year.

“Maybe that’s too high of a goal, I don’t care,” Lujan Grisham said at the Kids Count Conference. “New Mexico needs to institute universal food security services and programs in this state and every single philanthropic partner has to be dedicated to making sure no child in this state will ever go hungry again, and I don’t care if it’s a universal SNAP program.”

KOB 4 previously reported that New Mexico ranked last, for the third time in seven years, in child well-being.

Lujan Grisham said it’s going to take a “wrap around approach” to fix problems she believes were created by the previous administration.

During the governor’s address, she announced that the state’s Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD) receives about 900 referrals a month in Albuquerque alone. She said the referrals usually detail allegations of child abuse and neglect.

The governor said the state only has enough people to investigate 200 of those case.

“We wrote a letter to the former governor saying when we found out about it in transition, ‘You have to do something about this — children die and are harmed when we don’t pay attention and follow up on those referrals. So now we are doing that.”

Lujan Grisham noted that the state has held hiring events to recruit more CYFD employees.

“CYFD is boosting hiring in their protective services division. We did a rapid hire series of events statewide,” she said.

The governor added that the employees are getting the necessary training.