Bakery owner honored for helping feed firefighters during Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire

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PECOS, N.M. – You’re hungry, tired, overworked, and a perfect stranger hands you a piping hot, home-cooked breakfast. Hundreds of firefighters in northern New Mexico experienced that feeling every day for weeks last spring.

KOB 4 met the woman behind the effort, and shows you how she continues to make an impact on her community in this week’s Pay It 4ward.

The Village of Pecos became ground zero for hundreds of firefighters battling the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire last spring.

“Before we knew it we had close to 1,000 firefighters stationed in Pecos,” said Kim Peterson, Pay It 4ward nominator. 

Some seemed to put their lives on pause as the scope of the disaster sunk into the small community, especially Kandie Kingery.

She had just started fulfilling her dream to open her own bakery.

“She was barely off the ground, did a few farmers markets, and then the wildfires hit,” said Peterson. “She set her little business aside, and she started cooking up a storm, filled her car every morning with I don’t even know how many breakfasts.”

Morning after morning.

“I don’t even know how she did it, I don’t think she slept. But she was a steady presence with the firefighters throughout the entire time they were here,” Peterson said. “Everyone felt like she really demonstrated the true act of what can I do to help right now.”

Other neighbors pitched in to help Kingery’s initial effort, so she could feed about 500 firefighters every day. Then she fed about 100 families around the holidays thanks to more donations.

So, it was time to Pay It 4ward with $400.

Watch the video above for more.