Free for the taking, the backpacks sit just inside the front door of Sofia’s Kitchen on Bullock Boulevard.
Jay Ann Cox | El Defensor Chieftain

The school year rolls in and Sofia’s Kitchen rolls out their annual backpack giveaway. This year, they had around 300 backpacks to put in the hands of Socorro’s schoolkids who might not have a backpack, or whose bag has seen better days.

“We see kids in need, and we just want to give back to the community,” said Bobbi Gonzales, daughter of restaurant founder Leo Rosas.

Gonzales attended Socorro schools, as did her children. Now, with her grandchildren attending, there are three generations of the Rosas family living, learning and working in Socorro.

The restaurant held a giveaway last week that also included donated snacks from their vendor, Sysco Foods. The rest of the backpacks were available in the front of the restaurant side of Sofia’s, free for the taking.

“Sometimes the county joins in with donations, sometimes other groups. One year, we took a bunch to the high school marketplace,” said Gonzales.

Sofia’s Kitchen started in 2002 and is named for Leo Rosas’ grandmother, Sofia. The current owners are Bobbi Gonzales, Steve Rosas and Brian Skornia.

Jay Ann Cox, El Defensor Chieftain Editor