PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth-based nonprofit Mercy Chefs has deployed to South Texas in an effort to feed victims, first responders and volunteers in the wake of Hurricane Hanna.
Mercy Chefs serves professionally prepared, restaurant-quality meals to victims and first responders in emergencies and natural disasters, among other programs to benefit those in need.
Meal distribution will be in McAllen, Mission, Palmview and Sullivan City, Texas, near the Texas-Mexico border where there was extreme flooding, Mercy Chefs wrote in a news release Tuesday.
This is not Mercy Chefs’ first time in that area. In 2014, the nonprofit served Thanksgiving meals to residents.
“These are communities that are near and dear to our hearts,” said Gary LeBlanc, founder of Mercy Chefs. “We are devastated to hear of the impact the flooding is having on our friends, but we will do everything we can to ensure they can count on healthy and nutritious meals as they start to put the pieces back together.”
Mercy Chefs was founded in response to natural disasters. In 2006, LeBlanc went to New Orleans to volunteer and “realized disaster relief could be done better,” Mercy Chefs said in a news release.
The organization has also provided relief after hurricanes Dorian, Maria, Florence and Michael; the Carr fires; the Houston floods; and tornadoes in Tennessee, Alabama and Ohio. It’s still assisting Panama City following Hurricane Michael.
Mercy Chefs also recently served its five-millionth meal since the organization was founded in 2006.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Mercy Chefs has given nearly three million meals to those in need since mid-March. More than one million of those were during July.
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