Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serves chef-prepared meals in national emergencies and natural disasters, is returning to Eastern Kentucky to address an urgent need for food in communities that are recovering from a freeze while still feeling the impact of devastating flooding that impacted the state last summer.
Mercy Chefs will begin serving meals on Friday, January 13 in Wolfe County. The nonprofit is prepared to serve thousands of meals and water daily over the next few weeks to help get the community back on its feet.
“Government officials in Kentucky have called Mercy Chefs to let us know help is needed, and we’re fortunate to be able to respond,” said Gary LeBlanc, founder and CEO of Mercy Chefs. “Community recovery following a natural disaster takes time, and the people of Eastern Kentucky are feeling the effects of the recent freezing weather. We’re hearing that many school-aged children have no reliable source of food at home right now and most families do not have access to potable water.”
Mercy Chefs most recently responded to Eastern Kentucky in the summer of 2022 to provide daily meal service following the deadly flooding.
Mercy Chefs has served more than 24 million meals since its founding in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when LeBlanc went to New Orleans to volunteer and realized disaster relief could be done better.
Mercy Chefs is a 501c3 founded in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The organization exists to provide professionally prepared, restaurant-quality meals to victims, volunteers and first responders in natural disasters and national emergencies and partners with existing ministries with food service in underserved communities around the country. Since its founding, Mercy Chefs has served over 24 million meals. In 2020, Mercy Chefs founder Gary LeBlanc was recognized by Southern Living Magazine as a “Hometown Hero,” and Mercy Chefs was named the 2020 Small Business of the Year in the nonprofit category by Inside Business and the Hampton Roads Chamber. In 2015, it received both the Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism Award and the Hampton Roads Volunteer Achievement Award for its service. For more information, visit MercyChefs.com.