PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, the Mercy Chefs are heading to Alabama following the deadly tornadoes that hit the area on Thursday.

Mercy Chefs will prepare and serve meals from two mobile kitchens at the Church of the Highlands Riverchase Campus, in Pelham, to community members, first responders, and volunteers.

In addition, the organization will distribute meals to a number of small towns throughout the area.

“Thursday’s tornadoes in Alabama were a tragic reminder of the devastation that severe weather can have on a community, with not only destruction but loss of life,” said Gary LeBlanc, founder of Mercy Chefs.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives and the individuals and communities affected. We hope a warm meal from Mercy Chefs will be a comfort for the individuals we are able to serve,” said LeBlanc.

Mercy Chefs has served over 10 million meals since its founding in 2006, including 7 million meals in response to the coronavirus pandemic across the country since March.

The non-profit was founded in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina when LeBlanc went to New Orleans to volunteer.

Mercy Chefs said they currently have team members in McAllen, Texas to provide meals to refugees and government officials at the U.S.-Mexico border, a part of a long-term deployment effort in the area.

The organization recently responded to the derecho in Iowa, Hurricanes Sally, Laura, Hanna, Dorian, Maria, Florence, and Michael, the Carr fires, the Houston floods, and tornadoes in Tennessee, Alabama, and Ohio.

To support the Mercy Chefs in its current relief efforts, visit their website.