Salvation Army cooks up meal for migrant workers, Emory University students

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Last Thursday, members of the Salvation Army accompanied multiple medical volunteers from the Baptist Mobile Health Ministry and Emory University to Decatur Oaks. While the medical workers were there to provide care and treatment to the migrant workers, the Salvation Army went to feed everyone, something they’ve done for a while now.

According to director Merreann McDonald, this feeding program has served Georgia farm worker medical volunteers for at least 15 years. “The feeding program started many years ago through the late Mayo Livingston,” she said. “For about the last 15 years, Vicki Parker, a local nurse and community volunteer has arranged for the medical volunteers to be fed while they are here performing medical checks on the migrant community.”

While the Army’s main goal is feeding the medical volunteers, they will feed the migrant workers as well. “We have not done both every year, but when the opportunity presented itself, we would,” McDonald said. Last week she estimates they fed roughly 200 people total, including both volunteers and workers. Baked spaghetti, green pea salad, bread, Gatorade and water were all on the menu, as well as a vegetarian spaghetti. Some of the food was prepared in advance in Bainbridge, while the rest was made off-site with the help of a caterer. Approximately 25 plates of leftovers were served the next day at the Salvation Army in Bainbridge.

“It gives us great joy to be able to serve others through food, hydration, and conversation,” McDonald said. “The medical professionals are here serving our community, performing their services, and the workers are here harvesting our crops. Both are providing a service that is invaluable to local and national economy.”