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Louisiana struggles to recover from Hurricane Laura.
What Comfort Food Means to Me
Coronavirus lays bare America's looming food crisis: Mercy Chefs Founder
Hurricane Delta's wrath in Louisiana brings Mercy Chefs back to Lake Charles, dishing out meals
Mercy Chefs Founded in 2006 by Gary LeBlanc
Chef Gary LeBlanc
Founder and CEO of Mercy Chefs
After 35 years in the hotel restaurant business, Gary LeBlanc unexpectedly discovered his passion while volunteering during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was there in his hometown of New Orleans that Gary first saw the incredible difference that a hot meal can make, but as a volunteer he was surprised and outraged by the quality of food being served.
Though the victims and first responders were grateful for every meal, there was little to no food safety being practiced by the other relief agencies. It was all about fast, cheap and quantity. In the months following his efforts in Louisiana, Gary became inspired to the point of distraction by the idea of excellent food service in a disaster zone.
It was this spark of inspiration that led to the 2006 founding of Mercy Chefs, a national, faith-based nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serves high quality professionally prepared meals to victims, first responders and volunteers in natural disasters and national emergencies. For 16 years now, Gary has led Mercy Chefs into more than 30 states across the country and 12 countries around the world, serving more than 20 million meals since 2006. As Mercy Chefs’ reach expands, Gary consistently remains committed to his original mission to “Just go feed people.”
Co-founder and President of Mercy Chefs
Advocating for nutritious meals and supporting families in need aren’t new to Ann LeBlanc, who felt a call to dedicate her life to service after her very first deployment with Mercy Chefs to Conklin, N.Y., in 2006. Now, nearly 150 disasters and 16 years later, Ann continues to serve as the heartbeat and grounding force of the Mercy Chefs team, always there to lend a helping hand and a hot meal to those in need.
Prior to joining Mercy Chefs full time two years ago, Ann gained 25 years combined experience at The Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University in executive-level leadership in fundraising, event planning and marketing. Over the years, she has honed those skills to help Mercy Chefs skyrocket to new heights.
Ann embodies the essence of advocacy in everything she does. In her role at Mercy Chefs, Ann’s passion and commitment can be seen and felt by the people she serves. Whether she’s serving meals to single moms, elderly shut-ins, immigrant families or the newly unemployed, Ann always goes above and beyond – prioritizing the soul and story behind people and meeting individuals where they are.
January 12, 2023
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…Read More
October 21, 2022
Mercy Chefs Submission Video for Defender Service Award: https://player.vimeo.com/video/764103089?h=713ec8e73d Public voting open through Nov. 6 on LandRoverUSA.com; Mercy Chefs could win SUV and $25,000 Today, Mercy Chefs was named a finalist among the community service organizations category in the Land Rover “Defender Service Awards.” The Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian…Read More
October 13, 2022
Hurricane Ian Images and b-roll: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/19DkrugTe4Ncf15u9f–K544YpSlZUtji Within 24 hours of Hurricane Ian making landfall in Florida, Mercy Chefs was in Fort Myers serving meals – and hope. Two weeks later, the Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serves chef-prepared meals in national emergencies and natural disasters, has served…Read More
September 28, 2022
credit: NOAA Florida Response Is Expected to Be the Largest in Organization’s History Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serves chef-prepared meals in national emergencies and natural disasters, is deploying to Florida in response to Hurricane Ian. The nonprofit has been preparing all week for…Read More
September 20, 2022
On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria devastating Puerto Rico, Mercy Chefs is returning to the U.S. territory, this time to aid the victims, volunteers and first responders of Hurricane Fiona. Virginia-based Mercy Chefs has a longstanding history of providing relief in Puerto Rico. The nonprofit responded for months after…Read More
July 30, 2022
Mercy Chefs Deploys to Eastern Kentucky Following Devastating Floods Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serves chef-prepared meals in national emergencies and natural disasters, has deployed to Whitesburg, Kentucky to provide daily meal service following the devasting flooding in the eastern part of the state. Mercy Chefs will serve its first meals this evening, July 30,…Read More
July 14, 2022
Mercy Chefs’ Response in Ukraine Continues; Over 2.5 Million Pounds of Food Delivered Since March Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serves chef-prepared meals in national emergencies and natural disasters, has delivered over 2.5 million pounds of food and water since its work on the border of Ukraine began in March to reach refugees following the…Read More
May 10, 2022
Mercy Chefs Deploys to New Mexico to Aid Wildfire Victims, First Responders Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serveschef-prepared meals in national emergencies and natural disasters, has deployed to Taos, New Mexico to provide meal service to evacuees seeking shelter and first responders as deadly wildfires continue to expand throughout the state. Over the weekend, the nonprofit organization served lunch and dinner in Angel Fire and Taos. It…Read More
March 1, 2022
Mercy Chefs Deploys to Romania-Ukraine Border to Aid Ukrainian Refugees Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization Mercy Chefs has deployed to Romania, where it will serve Ukrainians fleeing their homes after Russia’s invasion. The organization and its international partners expect to be set up at the Romanian border by tonight to provide aid…Read More
February 5, 2022
Mercy Chefs Commits to Long-Term Relief for Victims of Western Kentucky Tornadoes Ribbon Cutting for Beacon of Hope Kitchen on Feb. 8 in Paducah When tornadoes ravaged wide areas of Western Kentucky in December, Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serveschef-prepared meals in national emergencies and natural disasters, quickly deployed and began serving meals to victims, first responders and volunteers in Mayfield within 24 hours. Today, the…Read More