The Salvation Army Kroc Center of the Mississippi Gulf Coast began a meal delivery ministry for seniors at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are unable to gather food themselves, whether it’s due to a physical disability, illness, or lack of a vehicle. Hence, officers and staff administer meals and offer encouragement to seniors throughout the Gulf Coast area. It’s a beautiful experience for the seniors as well as the ministry team. Some have even come to know one another on a first-name basis.
“Many of the seniors offer us words of encouragement as well. They say, ‘We thank God for what you do. We appreciate you,’ and that inspires us to continue serving our seniors. We need to be there for our vulnerable adults,” stated Lieutenant Sonya Smith.
“Our ministry team has a huge heart for seniors. We wanted to find a way not only to feed them spiritually as well,” Lieutenant Smith added.
“People are connecting more than ever over kind words, letters in the mail, and in my case, a meal.”
The weather was terrible on the coast one day, but it didn’t stop the meal delivery ministry because they knew there were seniors out there waiting for their doorbells to ring.
“I asked God to find a way for us to deliver the meals safely, and what do you know, it stopped raining right around lunchtime. There was not a drop,” Lieutenant Smith stated.
The ministry has recently started delivering meals to a woman who is in dialysis. Lieutenant Smith is aware of the woman’s treatment schedule, so she tries arriving when she knows the woman will be home and settled. One day Lieutenant Smith arrived at the same time as the bus that transports the woman to and from her appointments. Lieutenant Smith waited for her to get settled. When she rang the doorbell, she was greeted with a “Come in sweetie.”
“When I rang the doorbell, and she said that, it felt like whatever I was going through was just lifted. It was so sweet. She was sitting there, waiting on her lunch. I’d had a rough morning, but I knew I needed to push on because someone was out there waiting on a meal. This is why we do what we do. There may be issues with the economy, there’s a virus spreading, and people are dying, but God is still good,” Lieutenant Smith shared.
“I went back to my car and just sat there and was filled with joy. I asked God to forgive me for complaining in a moment just because I was having a rough morning. This woman is going through dialysis and is one of the most vulnerable, yet still giving God glory. It’s the little things,” added Lieutenant Smith.
“Many spiritual exchanges are happening, and people are missing it because we’re focused on this pandemic. People are connecting more than ever over kind words, letters in the mail, and in my case, a meal. It was an exchange between one generation to the next,” stated Lieutenant Smith.
“We’re looking for these huge blessings during this pandemic, and God is telling us to look at the small things. He is allowing this pandemic to bring us together in compassion. I had a spiritual exchange with this woman that she doesn’t even know she’s given me. I gave her a meal, and she gave me gratitude. That exchange reminded me of why we do what we do. I put my mask on, and I go out there, and I’m going to be a blessing. I never think about someone else being a blessing to me. I’m thankful for that. Those are the things I hold on to,” Lieutenant Smith added.
Meals are delivered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to seniors throughout the Biloxi community. Services will continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact the Biloxi Kroc Center to sign up for meal deliveries.