VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It’s been one week since a powerful twister carved a path through the Great Neck community in Virginia Beach.

With damage estimates around $16-million, there’s still a long road to recovery.

“Most of the debris, as you can tell, is already gone,” said Mercy Chefs Managing Chef John Thompson. “They’ve worked pretty much non-stop to get it out of the way.”

Mercy Chefs Managing Chef John Thompson has been out delivering meals to those impacted in the Great Neck area for the past week.

He has deployed to disaster zones all over and said they’re all different, but similar in a lot of ways.

“Homes are destroyed, or they’re damaged really bad, and that’s what we do, we go feed people in their time of need,” Thompson said.

Feeding those who have damage to their homes, or those working to clear the debris, like the Shirley’s.

Cheryl & Curtis Shirley work for Dadoo’s Stump Grinding and have been removing tree limbs for the past few days.

They said being able to get a hot meal for lunch from Mercy Chefs has been a blessing.

“Somedays we don’t know if we are going to be working all day or half day, so we don’t bring lunch and if we do, it’s just a sandwich and we pile in a lot of drinks,” Cheryl Shirley said.

The Shirleys said the neighborhood has come a long way since last week.

“Last week, we were working from seven until dark because there was so much and there’s still a lot,” Curtis Shirley said.

But they say the hot meal and the visit from volunteers makes the day better.

“It means a lot, I’m gonna get choked up,” Cheryl Shirley said. “We’re both blessed because we’re here to be able to help and for them to be able to bring food to us and the people in the community is a blessing.”

Some of Mercy Chef’s volunteers are from the area and deploy to disasters all over the world.

Lead Volunteer Coordinator Molly MacDonald said it’s bittersweet being so close to home.

“It’s sad knowing a tornado has affected our backyard, but its also cool to know that there’s so many people out there helping their community,” MacDonald said. “There’s a lot of hope in that.”

And the tornado and close proximity to their headquarters has also given Mercy Chefs a new reason to test out the newest tool in their tool box, their Land Rover.

“If we get into situations where we are off paved roads or we are having to run over some debris, things like that, it allows us to be able to get meals to people who might not be able to get them otherwise,” Thompson said.

Providing comfort and hope in the form of a meal, right in their own backyards.

“Whether they’ve been affected by the tornado or someone whos just helping out,” MacDonald said, “it really just gives them a moment to take a second and breathe and just know that it’s going to be OK.”

Want to help?

Monday is the last day Mercy Chefs will be deployed in Virginia Beach, but there’s other ways to help those impacted. You can sign up through Volunteer Hampton Roads.