The 2021 UNM Gives United Way Campaign kicks off in New Mexican style with the 3rd annual Salsa Showdown competition. Registration to submit recipes is now underway and is limited to the first six entries. The deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 22 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 Grab N’ Go Salsa Showdown event, like last year has a few twists including limited participation and online voting, all due to the continued health guidelines related to COVID-19.

Entrants will register and submit their favorite homemade salsa recipes while Chartwells Catering will prepare the salsa the day of the event. Attendees will pick up a “Grab N’ Go” bag of chips and salsa, taste at the location of their choosing and vote for their favorite.

Tasting takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 5 in the SUB Atrium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or while supplies last. The event will be competitive, tasty and will once again help kick off this year’s UNM Gives United Way Campaign beginning Oct. 1. Voting will be online at the Office of the President website beginning Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. through Oct. 8 at 5 p.m.

The annual Salsa Showdown has become a huge draw toward generating excitement for the UNM Gives United Way campaign. In 2019, more than 200 people attended the inaugural event and cast more than 700 votes for the 20+ entries. The winner was determined by popular vote. After the success of the 2019 event, UNM Gives United Way campaign organizers were determined to host the event in 2020 and figured out a fun way to conduct it amid the state’s COVID-19 health guidelines with the Grab N’ Go concept. While state health guidelines have loosened up a bit in 2021, campaign organizers felt it was still prudent to conduct the event with the utmost health safety in mind.

“With the grab-and-go approach, we can kick off our annual fundraising campaign to support the important work of the United Way with a tasty, fun and competitive Showdown while still following COVID-19 guidelines,” said UNM Gives co-coordinator Abra Altman.

For more information and to register, visit the Office of the President website and look for the big purple button.

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 nearly $530,000. 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.