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Salvation Army Farmington Corps offering to-go only meals on Thanksgiving

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON — The Salvation Army’s Farmington Corps branch will be offering only to-go Thanksgiving meals during this holiday season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meals will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis at Daily Bread, a soup kitchen located at 405 S. Behrend Ave. in Farmington, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 26.

Major Tammy Ray said the organization considered skipping the event this year altogether due to the health risks, but ultimately decided not to cancel Thanksgiving meal services.

“There’s still people that won’t have a meal that day if we don’t serve,” Ray said. “We went back and forth, ‘should we do this, should we not do this’… We wanted to make sure we were being as safe as possible… It’s going to be a lot of work for a small group of people, but it’s safer that way.”

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Volunteers at The Salvation Army's annual Thanksgiving luncheon at the Farmington Civic Center on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2019.

The state’s latest public health order entails a two-week “shelter-in-place” order starting Monday and lasting through Nov. 30. New Mexicans are instructed to stay home except for essential services like food and water, emergency medical care, getting a flu shot or getting tested for COVID-19.

Food banks, soup kitchens and services “providing care to indigent or needy populations” are deemed essential businesses in New Mexico under the state’s public health order.

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Volunteer Fabian Nargo hands out desert to Sandy Eastep at The Salvation Army's annual Thanksgiving luncheon at the Farmington Civic Center on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2019.

Given the the latest COVID-19 developments, Ray said doing to-go meal services are the safest recourse so that people “aren’t hanging around” Daily Bread.

“We just need to err on the side of caution,” Ray said.

One won’t be allowed to volunteer handing out meals, but people can contribute financial donations.

To help the Salvation Army Farmington Corps via monetary donations, call 505-327-5117 or email Ray at tammy.ray@usw.salvationarmy.org.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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