Local Restaurants Cook Lunch for Evacuees

By: Erich Spivey
By: Erich Spivey

September 20, 2005
Relief for Hurricane Katrina victims continues in our area, but Tuesday’s free lunch at May Park hit a small snag. News 12 is on your side to sort through the donation drive.

A rare sight early in the morning, competing restaurants standing side-by-side in the name of hurricane relief. Eight restaurants were cooking dozens of meals for evacuees staying in the Augusta area.

Odile Jones is one of those evacuees chased from her home on the west side of New Orleans. She has no idea how long she’ll be in town. She arrived at May Park at noon expecting one of those hot meals. But lunchtime was a bit later than expected.

Three other hurricane evacuees arrive shortly after 12:15. Fed up with waiting, however, they eventually left around 12:43. But Jones sticks it out, waiting by the front door hoping lunch will arrive shortly.

And it does eventually arrive at 12:52 p.m.

“We had to wait on a few restaurants and everyone was cooperative and we got the job done and came straight here,” said Rocky Olguin, volunteer.

There’s a lot to choose from including buckets of chicken fingers, T-Bonz and pasta. That allows Jones and one other evacuee to have a healthy portion. At 1 o’clock, they were the only ones getting a free lunch.

Another organizer from Friday’s says a bus eventually stopped by to allow more evacuees to eat. Here’s the plan for the rest of the week and next week: the mayor’s office says lunch will be served for evacuees at May Park at noon. A bus will take evacuees from the Ramada Inn, where many are staying, to May Park to eat.

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