PB&J Family Services

A close partnership and shared understanding have helped PB&J extend its legacy of caring for the community.
  • 15+ years as partners
  • 149+ grants written
  • $17,845,000+ awarded
  • ROI: For every $1 paid to TGP, $72.81 awarded in grant funds
  • 1,100 families served
  • Expanded to serve more children
  • Restarted program to support families impacted by incarceration
Generations of New Mexicans have enjoyed brighter futures thanks to PB&J Family Services. The Albuquerque-based non-profit, which opened in 1972, helps at-risk kids reach their full potential with support services for them and training for their parents. The organization offers child development and early intervention services, parenting education, case management, and more

Since 2006, PB&J has partnered with The Grant Plant (TGP) to find and apply for grant funding to support its critical work. Their first collaboration to secure an innovative, four-year grant from the New Mexico Children Youth & Families Department, was successful. Since then, the two organizations have worked together on almost 150 grants.

After that first win, The Grant Plant began sending PB&J grant opportunities that matched the organization’s goals. “That’s what they still do constantly – send us grants that match our needs,” says Jennifer Thompson, associate director at PB&J. In fact, a series of grants presented by The Grant Plant helped PB&J expand from serving children age three and under to working with children up to age five.

“Working with The Grant Plant is a breath of fresh air every time. They offer a wealth of knowledge and support.”
Felicia Tapia-Alvidrez
Associate Director
PB&J Family Services

Two organizations work as one
It’s just one example of how, over the course of the long-term partnership, The Grant Plant has almost become one with the PB&J team. “They understand how we function,” comments Jennifer. “It’s nice to work with people who understand your process and your team and are able to function within it.”

In fact, the two organizations are so connected that PB&J employees have mistaken team members from The Grant Plant for employees. That bond is driven by The Grant Plant’s detailed approach to researching opportunities and comprehensive support they provide throughout the grant process. “They are like our historians,” says Felicia Tapia-Alvidrez, associate director. “When they make a suggestion they have a summary, the history and can show what we’ve done in the past.”

PB&J also benefits from The Grant Plant’s deep roots in the community. “What sets them apart is the wealth of knowledge they have to share,” comments Felicia. “They’re a bridge for us and have helped us create deeper partnerships and collaborations with other organizations.”

A major win
That history and expertise were critical to PB&J winning a major grant that helped the organization return to its roots. For decades, PB&J worked with families impacted by incarceration, but budget cuts in recent years halted those programs. “It’s been a huge goal for us to get back into correctional facilities and work with those families,” says Felicia. When they learned of a new federal grant that would support that work in conjunction with Bernalillo County in New Mexico, PB&J reached out to The Grant Plant to manage the complicated federal grant process.

“It was a long, complex process that involved several entities and so much detail and collaboration to bring the grant together,” says Felicia. The Grant Plant team drew heavily on its history with PB&J to manage the application and keep the different entities connected and working together in what turned out to be a two-year process spanning the pandemic. They won the award in the fall of 2020.

Award: $559,713 for the Bernalillo County Detention Center Parental Visitation and Family Supports Program

Grant expertise wasn’t the only thing that was important to winning the award – compassion was too. “When you do this kind of work, you must foster connections between groups and be sensitive towards families dealing with incarceration. The Grant Plant does both,” says Susannah Burke, a former Executive Director of PB&J.

The new Bernalillo County Detention Center Parental Visitation and Family Supports Program will aid families dealing with incarceration by providing employment and housing assistance, mental health services, and training. Ultimately, the program will create better outcomes for children and help reduce the long-term recidivism rate for incarcerated adults. Notes Susannah, “We wouldn’t have this program if it weren’t for The Grant Plant.”