A dozen local charities were the beneficiaries of a $52,000 profit made by the Asbury Cafe during this year’s New Mexico State Fair.
The cafe, operated on the grounds of the State Fair since 1960, began as a way for Asbury United Methodist Church to raise money for its building fund.
As the cafe prospered, the church building took shape. Since 1971, all its profits have been donated to local charities.
In 1987 St. Stephen’s UMC joined with Asbury UMC to expand the volunteer workers and extend the outreach of the cafe. They were joined in 1993 by St. John’s UMC.
The three churches shared in all aspects of the cafe, including picking and processing fruit, making pies, and running the cafe. In 2001 three more churches joined the volunteer effort and in 2016 11 churches participated.
More than 75 percent of the revenue goes directly to charities, particularly those that feed and provide services to the poor and homeless.
Local organizations that received funds this year from the Asbury Cafe include: The Storehouse, Albuquerque Rescue Mission, Meals on Wheels, First UMC Grace Meal, The Rock at Noon Day, South Albuquerque Coop Ministry, Good Shepherd Center, Albuquerque Street Outreach, East Mountain Food Pantry, Project Share, Family Promise, and Asbury UMC Breaking Bread.