VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Portsmouth-based Mercy Chefs prepared meals for Virginia Beach residents impacted by Sunday’s EF-3 tornado that ripped through the Great Neck area of the city and damaged more than 100 homes.

Wednesday afternoon, the organization, along with volunteers from Spring Branch Church, passed out 100 hot meals, 50 were for people who were working in the neighborhoods to clean up the disaster the tornado left behind and the other 50 were for the residents of those areas.

Mercy Chefs founder Gary Leblanc said even though they only had 100 meals on Wednesday, they’re going to ramp up that number for the rest of the week.

“We’ll continue to expand as the need grows, we know this is going to be a busy volunteer weekend,” he said. “We’ll be prepared to feed all those volunteers and we’re going to stay here as long as the community needs us.”

The non-profit has responded to more than 200 natural disasters, but Leblanc said seeing it happen at home is another thing all together.

“We have friends who were in the neighborhood, so it’s very personal for us,” Leblanc said. “No one expects a tornado, but when it happens literally in your own backyard it’s just devastating.”

Mercy Chefs partnered with Spring Branch Church to make it all happen.

Pastor Arthur Mace said they snapped to and helped their neighbors out right after the tornado hit.

“We were set up to be a trauma center here Sunday evening immediately following the tornado,” Mace said. “We’ve been working closely with the local and civil authorities for the last couple of days, seeing how we could jump in and help quickly.”

He said in a world where very little is free, it feels great to help out this way.

“So, to be able to do something for someone with no strings attached and to say we just want to offer you a hot meal,” Mace said, “I think it’s great.”

But, food isn’t the only help the church will be giving.

“What we can do this week besides meals is, we can help with some minor repairs, cleaning up debris, and just saying what can we do to help,” Mace said.

LeBlanc said Mercy Chefs and Spring Branch will also accommodate their food service for people who can’t make it to the church.

“We know of one family that the mom has just had surgery, so they’re not able to leave,” Leblanc said. “And with all the traffic, we’re going to go right to their shut-in and not just provide meals, but (also) find out what else they need in their households and provide all those resources.”

“Mercy Chefs is deploying to provide hope in the form of a meal to those beginning to pick up the pieces after this tragedy,” it said in a Facebook post. “We ask for your prayers and support as we begin serving lunch daily to our neighbors in need.”

Mercy Chefs most recently deployed in Rolling Fork, Mississippi in late March following a tornado that hit that community. That tornado killed 25 people and left dozens of people injured.