The 2020 UNM Gives United Way Campaign kicks off in New Mexican style with the 2nd annual Salsa Showdown competition. Registration to submit recipes is now underway at and is limited to the first 10 entrants. The deadline to register is Friday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. The competition is open to faculty, staff and students.

The prize for the winning salsa recipe is one year of free parking, equal to an existing parking permit (courtesy of PATS).

Sponsored by the Office of the President, this year’s event has a few twists including a slightly new name, “Grab N’ Go Salsa Showdown,” limited participation and online voting, all due to the current health guidelines related to COVID-19.

Entrants will register and submit their favorite homemade salsa recipes while Chartwells Catering will prepare all the salsa the day of the event. Attendees will pick up a grab-and-go bag of chips and salsa, taste at the location of their choosing and vote for their favorite online at

Tasting takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 6 in SUB Ballroom C from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or while supplies last. The event still promises to be competitive, and tasty, and will once again help kick off this year’s UNM Gives Campaign, which begins Oct. 1.

More than 200 people attended last year’s inaugural event and cast nearly 720 votes for the entries. The winner was determined by popular vote. After the success of last year’s event, UNM Gives campaign organizers were determined to host the event again this year and figured out a fun way to conduct it amid the state’s COVID-19 health guidelines.

“On the heels of the success of the first Salsa Showdown, we were determined to make this an annual event to kick off the UNM Gives United Way Campaign,” said Abra Altman, UNM Gives co-coordinator for the UNM Gives Campaign. “With the grab-and-go approach, we can have a tasty and competitive Showdown while still following COVID-19 guidelines.”

For more information and to register, visit Grab N’ Go Salsa Showdown.

The University of New Mexico has been a proud supporter of the United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) for over 25 years. Last year’s UNM Gives Campaign raised more than $915,000. UNM’s participation in the United Way Campaign goes far beyond supporting the annual campaign. Many faculty, staff and students volunteer with UWCNM, participate in events, and help year-round through service and volunteering.

For more information, visit United Way of Central New Mexico.

Salsa Showdown 2020