PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth-based humanitarian aid organization Mercy Chefs has deployed to eastern Kentucky after devastating flooding hit the region.

The nonprofit announced on Saturday they are in Whitesburg, Kentucky, to provide daily meals to residents.

Mercy Chef’s CEO and founder, Gary LeBlanc, says the stories they’re hearing from survivors are incredible.

“We met a lady that was trying to step out the front door of her home carrying her granddaughter and her feet got taken out from underneath her,” said LeBlanc. “Her husband was able to grab the grandbaby and she was able to recover but she almost lost the child and her life.”

At least 28 people were confirmed dead in the commonwealth, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on Sunday, and more victims were expected to be found in the coming weeks.

Mercy Chefs says it served its first meals on July 30 at Letcher County Central High School, at 435 Cougar Drive, and lunch and dinner will continue at that location in the coming days. The team is also distributing meals to multiple other rural locations. They said their community kitchen in Paducah, Kentucky, is also preparing bakery items.

“So often we see victims and their only expectation is a sandwich and a bag of chips and they open our clamshells, our to-go containers and they see pot pie or roast pork loin or chicken and broccoli,” said LeBlanc. “They see beautiful food that they would recognize from home. It’s something that we’d serve each other as friends and family so they’re always surprised by that. They always ask, ‘why would you come and do this?’ and we do this so they know the rest of the country hasn’t forgotten them.”

Mercy Chefs has served more than 22 million meals in at least 170 disaster responses and counting. They’ve responded to disasters in 27 states and 9 countries.

“Mercy Chefs feeds people a lot of times on the worst day of their lives and that’s why we want to do it so well,” said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc’s team includes volunteers from all across the country, including here in Hampton Roads. He says he doesn’t see them leaving anytime soon because the need continues to grow.

“This is a moving disaster and it’s a growing disaster and whatever numbers we thought we would be serving when we got here tripled then doubled again so it is a desperate and widespread need,” said LeBlanc.

This comes as Mercy Chefs also provides aid to Ukrainians affected by the ongoing Russian invasion. They announced last month that 2.5 million pounds of food and water have been delivered to the region since the war started.

LeBlanc says one of their serving locations in Mykolaiv was shelled just yesterday.

“Our distribution point was okay but the population there is now fleeing so we have to find additional locations in that area to continue distribution,” said LeBlanc.

He says the need is still strong there. He also says they just extended the lease on their warehouse in Ukraine.

You can donate to Mercy Chefs here.

Virginia Beach-based Operation Blessing is also in the area delivering supplies to residents.