Mercy Chefs’ CoFounder, Ann LeBlanc, inspired the development of our Community Kitchens and Outreach division.
She recognized our organization’s responsibility to put our resources, volunteers, and skills to use outside of disasters to feed food-insecure populations across the nation. She reminded Chef Gary that the call was not to “Just go feed people during disaster” but to “Just go feed people.”
In 2019, Mercy Chefs launched its first permanent Community Kitchen at Mercy Chefs’ headquarters in Portsmouth, Virginia.
This kitchen is the model for our community kitchen program that has since been replicated in Nashville, TN, Dallas, TX, and Richmond, VA, with more to come. We work with existing organizations within a community to maximize our joint efforts and to strengthen the community itself.
Our focus is not solely placed on our immediate impact but on long-term recovery and enrichment, as well.
Week in and week out, our community kitchens provide nutritionally rich meals in low-income communities among food insecure populations across the United States. We provide food service to further the mission of local organizations with after school programs, resources for single mothers and their children, holiday meals, and more to actively create a measure of stability for families who do not know where their next meal will come from.
Our first community kitchen was established in 2019 in the backyard of our headquarters located in Portsmouth, Virginia. We bought the offices with the dream of one day creating a community kitchen for our neighbors to come eat, learn, and serve with us. This was the beginning of the community kitchen model.
711 Washington Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nashville was struggling with intense food insecurity, especially among one of the largest homeless populations in the U.S. With incredible church partners, we established our second permanent community kitchen in 2021 and have regularly been feeding hundreds of meals weekly to those struggling with homelessness and more.
15354 Old Hickory Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37211
Our Dallas kitchen launched in the summer of 2023 after a long term dream to be in the heart of this great state with a shared love for food and hospitality. In partnership with Youth World, we’ve been growing our impact since the opening.
1121 W Wheatland Road
Dallas, TX 75232
Opening in October 2023, this kitchen focuses on educating and empowering the community in cooking and nutrition, as well as growing sustainable produce. We look forward to feeding another Virginia community not far from our headquarters and sharing our mission with fellow Virginians.
2500 Nine Mile Road
Richmond, VA 23223