Cooking and Coping

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

Victims of Hurricane Katrina are being sent all over the country to stay in shelters. In Meridian, Mississippi the population has doubled.

WBKO sent a crew to help out a sister station there, as Ashley Davidson reports, some of the survivors are cooking as a way to cope.

Cheryl Edwards: "When we got here Sunday night we couldn't get a hotel. We were going to be sleeping in our cars."

When Cheryl Edwards and her friends escaped the devastation of New Orleans they had no idea where to go. Then they heard about the Red Cross Shelter at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Meridian, Mississippi. That's where she met Linda Soons.

Soons says: "They're wonderful. My heart goes out to them. They've lost everything and they still have a good attitude."

Soons and her husband have been working eight to twelve hour days at the shelter. She cooks three meals a day for the all the survivors.

Soons says: "We made twelve times the recipe and we did it twice!"

Edwards is so thankful for all the work the volunteers are doing, she wanted a way to show her gratitude, by cooking up a New Orleans favorite-red beans and rice.

Edwards says: "We came, they treated us so well, I'm even in the kitchen!"

As stressful as the situation is, Edwards says she's finding help with these friends she's met in the kitchen. Cooking is helping her cope.

Edwards says: "All that loss and we are watching TV and to see the devastation that's left behind us and people starving and dead. And these people have tried to take our minds off things."

Soons says their goal is to try to help the survivors and help them adjust.

Soons says: "They come in and we kinda give them a hug and sometimes they go off to cry and we just try to be here for them."

Edwards has found so much kindness in Meridian she says she's even thinking about staying there permanently.


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