KRQE - Small New Mexico business promotes state pride, helps feed local kids

KRQE - Small New Mexico business promotes state pride, helps feed local kids

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) - A New Mexico family has fused state pride with making sure kids get to eat every day at school.

Chris Lang and Organ Mountain Outfitters is what you get when you combine a love for New Mexico's breathtaking landscape and helping the community.

"As a business owner, I feel like I have a responsibility to kind of give back," Lang said. 

Inspired b his own story of growing up in poverty, Lang and his family decided their line of Southwest apparel, launched in 2016, would help local children.

"The generation that we live in... We love to kind of shop with a cause," he said.

For every Organ Mountain Outfitters product sold, $2 goes toward Las Cruces Public Schools, paying for reduced cost lunches. At forty cents a meal, that's a week's worth.

LCPS says its total unpaid lunch debt is $20,000 a year, on average.

"We have donated over $25,000 and that has fed over 65,000 lunches," Lang said.

Soon, LCSP won't be the only district getting a helping hand. Lang says some Albuquerque small businesses reached out recently, wanting to sell his stuff. 

"We decided, what better opportunity than to give back to the Albuquerque Public Schools?" he said.

The money donated to APS will come from the sale of Organ Mountain Outfitters apparel sold in Albuquerque at shops like Brotique 505 at Green Jeans and Spur Line Supply Co. in the Sawmill District.

Any online sales that come from north of Socorro will also benefit APS, Lang explained.

A spokesperson with New Mexico's biggest school district says it has a roughly $80,000 debt from unpaid lunches.

APS says it's excited to work with Organ Mountain Outfitters, so it can keep its dollars for classrooms and not resolving a debt.

"If we can be a small part in inspiring people to help families in Albuquerque and that debt, then we want to just spark that conversation and give people and opportunity to give back in Albuquerque as well," Lang said.

He hopes to eventually expand this program across the Southwest.

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