PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth-based non-profit Mercy Chefs continues to serve those who’ve lost everything in Hawaii, and they say some of those who’ve lost everything are serving alongside them.

Volunteers with Mercy Chefs travel from all over the country to help after disaster strikes.

They usually have a large core of volunteers from the local community too, and they say despite losing everything, many of the people there still want to help serve others first.

Volunteers have served more than 50,000 meals to those impacted by the fires in the past 13 days. They’ve also handed out about 10,000 grocery boxes to families as well.

Mercy Chefs Director of Church Partnerships Joel Cauley has been on the ground for 13 days now and said it’s devastating to see.

“I’ve just never seen anything like it,” Cauley said. “The pictures and stuff just don’t do it justice. To see something so beautiful, this paradise burnt to ashes is very surreal.”

Mercy Chefs is serving out of two church kitchens and a kitchen at a golf course resort. The Plantation House Golf Resort is also allowing Mercy Chefs to use their staff.

“They really jumped in with both feet, all of their chefs,” Cauley said, “their sous chefs, their other staff, they all just buckled down and said, ‘Hey, we are here to help our community, so they have been working really hard to go from about 300 meals a day to about 3,000 meals a day and to do that for what is this day 12 or 13, it just speaks so much on their willingness to love on their community.”

Cauley said the community has been so resilient.

He says many of their local volunteers have been personally impacted by the fires, but are still coming to serve.

“We’ve literally had volunteers that have lost everything in the fire come and help and serve their community,” Cauley said. “We’ve got people that have lost their loved ones that are still coming to help.”

Volunteers with Mercy Chefs travel from all over the country to help after disaster strikes, and are usually meeting one another for the first time. Cauley said it’s inspiring to see the lasting relationships that are formed.

“We had a lady who flew in from Canada that met a local and now they’ve exchanged numbers and they’ve been serving together for 10 days straight,” Cauley said. “Not only do we see needs met, but beautiful relationships are formed through things like this so that’s the silver lining in this, seeing things like this that you didn’t expect.”

Cauley said the Maui Foodbank has donated a lot of food to them to prepare for local people.

He also told 10 On Your Side some of the resort staff members are actually helping them come up with ideas for meals so they’re incorporating local flavors.

They say they also have plans in place to establish a kitchen for long-term recovery as well.

If you’d like to help Mercy Chefs, click here.