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Portsmouth-based Mercy Chefs to serve meals in Eastern Kentucky following devastating floods

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Posted at 10:18 AM, Jul 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-30 22:31:46-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Mercy Chefs, a disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization based in Portsmouth, has deployed to Kentucky to provide meals to people impacted by the devastating flooding in the eastern part of the state.

Members of Mercy Chefs are on the ground in eastern Kentucky helping with relief efforts.

"Places that have never flooded before, flooded this time. places that have flooded before were completely inundated. Homes are gone families are broken," said Gary LeBlanc, Founder and CEO of Mercy Chefs.

The Portsmouth-based disaster relief and aid organization serves high-quality meals in national emergencies and in the aftermath of natural disasters.

"We will be cooking hot meals. We did about 500 tonight, we expect that to go to about 750 for lunch and dinner tomorrow" said LeBlanc.

Our News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones spoke with Gary LeBlanc to see how long he and volunteers plan to stay on the ground.

"We always say that we'll stay as long as were needed. We will start actively looking this week for a place we can do some extended and long time recovery work," said LeBlanc.

Both lunch and dinner will be served from Letcher County Central High School in Whitesburg, Kentucky; the team will also distribute meals to multiple, more rural locations. Volunteers will also give out bottled water and hygiene items.

"These communities here in the mountains have really been completely devastated. A lot of disasters will affect the portion of a town or a portion of a community, but all of eastern Kentucky is suffering right now" said LeBlanc.

“It’s times like this that we feel so blessed to have bases strategically placed across the country,” said Gary LeBlanc, founder and CEO of Mercy Chefs. “With the help of our community kitchen in the western part of the state, we can quickly and efficiently provide support to the families impacted by the flooding. We are committed to serving hot meals—and a helping of hope—to victims and first responders.”

Since Mercy Chefs was founded in 2006, it has served more than 20 million meals to people in need.

To donate to Mercy Chefs and support its current relief efforts, click here.