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Portsmouth-based Mercy Chefs to give out Thanksgiving meals to Louisiana communities impacted by Ida

Mercy Chefs
Posted at 8:00 PM, Nov 19, 2021

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Mercy Chefs is heading back to Louisiana ahead of the holidays.

The Portsmouth-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, which serves chef-prepared meals to victims and first responders in emergencies and natural disasters, will give out 7,500 Thanksgiving meals to multiple communities in Louisiana that were impacted by Hurricane Ida over the summer.

3,500 meals will be distributed in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and 4,000 of the meals will be distributed on Thanksgiving Day in LaPlace in partnership with Cargill.

The nonprofit has an annual tradition of returning to communities that have been impacted by disasters in the previous year to serve holiday meals.

Mercy Chefs wasin Louisiana for weeks after Ida. The deployment was ultimately the largest in the organization’s history, with Mercy Chefs serving more than 214,000 hot meals and distributing 165,000 grocery boxes.

The holiday meals, which include turkey and gravy; stuffing; sweet potato casserole; green beans; pumpkin cake and rolls, will be served as both hot meals that ready to eat and cold family packs to serve four people that can be reheated later at home.

“These at-risk communities in Louisiana lost so much during Ida, and our team feels fortunate to be able to return during the holiday season to continue to support them in recovery,” said Gary LeBlanc, the founder of Mercy Chefs. “We believe that food is love and serving these Thanksgiving meals allows us to bring that to life.”

In addition to distributing meals, volunteers will give out gift cards and family packs in cities such as New Orleans, LaPlace and Kenner, La.

Mercy Chefs was founded in 2006 in the aftermath of Katrina when LeBlanc went to New Orleans to volunteer and realized disaster relief could be done better. Mercy Chefs has served more than 18.5 million meals since 2006 in response to national and international emergencies and natural disasters.

To support Mercy Chefs in its current relief efforts,click here.