Garden City church members cook free lunches for certified nursing assistants


GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WSAV) — Bishop Jackie Gilbert-Grant and her congregation at Sanctuary of Praise Christian Assembly showed their gratitude for frontline healthcare workers with free meals on Wednesday.

Cooked and prepared by the church members themselves, the lunches served as a generous “thank you” to the hardworking medical professionals who are sometimes overlooked in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You know, we talk about the doctors and the nurses, but I wanted to make sure the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) and those that help around the hospital know that we appreciate what they are doing, as well,” said Gilbert-Grant, the pastor who organized the meal handouts.

She told NOW that the to-go boxes of fried chicken, potato salad, string beans and other goodies were their way of giving back to those risking their health to help others.

“Some of these CNAs actually go into the home of the sick people, and they’re putting their lives in harm’s way,” Gilbert-Grant said, adding, “We’re gonna keep giving and doing our fair share in the community to show that working together works, and working in love is even greater.” 

Servers took care to prevent the spread of germs as they prepared dozens of meals, wearing masks and gloves while limiting the number of people allowed in the building.

Medical workers stop by Sanctuary of Praise Christian Assembly on Wednesday to enjoy a free lunch.

Carolyn Milton, the owner of Savannah-based Handle with Loving Care home care agency, says she appreciates that the church took the time to think of people like her and her employees. 

She brought 25 warm meals back to the office for them to enjoy. 

“We are working long shifts, long hours during this season, and we are just putting ourselves on the line for others,” Milton told NOW. 

“A lot of times, people forget about CNAs, and they play a big role in this front line, and I am so grateful to Bishop Grant and the church,” Milton said. 

Dr. Minnie Simmons, executive director at Habersham House Assisted Living and Memory Care, also stopped by to grab the special treats for her caregivers.

She wanted to make it a surprise, she says.

“They won’t know until I get back, but I will tell them that someone in the community was so kind and thoughtful to think about them as a caregiver, to provide a free meal for them today,” Simmons said.

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