Volunteers prepare Thanksgiving meals for jails, shut ins and others

The outreach is a 35 year tradition involving different churches

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Inmates in area jails, along with jail staff, enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal, thanks to a Tupelo-based ministry.

9-year-old Will Bryant spent part of his Thanksgiving morning in the kitchen at Harrisburg Baptist Church.

“Working very hard opening cans using a big can opener,” said Bryant.

Bryant was one of the hundreds of volunteers at the outreach, organized by Christians on the Move to Evangelize.

Some volunteers were working in the kitchen, cooking vegetables for tables whereas other volunteers worked in an assembly line fashion, putting it all in individual to-go plates.

Bishop Willie Wilson has been part of the ministry since Bishop Clarence Parks started it 35 years ago.

“It’s important to us to know that other people are getting meals, hot, getting the traditional meal.  If you are incarcerated you get what they give you, and if you are a senior citizen, you may not even get that, then we have people walking the streets,” said Wilson.

Volunteers also delivered the meals to jails and shut-ins around the area.  It takes a lot of work from members of a diverse group of churches.

“I think it’s important to feed the homeless, whoever is in need,” said Dot Thornton.

“It’s important because God has been so good, not only on Thanksgiving Day, every day, and we should all be thankful,” said Emma Jean Lao.

“I like helping and serving the Lord, helping my fellow man, you get blessed you got to pass it on,” said James Arnold.

“Got to put some work to it you know, we got up about 7 this morning, it’s good to see a lot of young people, that’s what it’s all about, you got to pass this torch down,” said Darryl White.

At 5 years old, Carter Friend was the youngest volunteer, and he took a quick break from helping, to send a message to everyone.

What did you want to say today?

“Happy Thanksgiving,” said Friend.

More than 1,200 plates were made this morning and delivered. Christians on the Move to Evangelize will also hold a Christmas Day feeding.

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