NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Portsmouth-based non-profit makes long-term commitment to helping Kentucky tornado victims

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Posted at 4:36 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 17:12:40-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Portsmouth-based Mercy Chefs has committed to a long-term relief for the victims of western Kentucky.

The non-profit organization, which feeds first responders and victims of disasters as well as dispatches volunteers to help in emergency situations, was in Mayfield, Kentucky, the day after tornadoes struck the area in December.

They’ve been serving hot meals from their mobile units to those in need. Now, with the help of the Paducah school system, they’re going to be operating out of a school building.

Mercy Chefs is calling it the Beacon of Hope Kitchen. According to the non-profit, the operations include:

  • Provide hot meals to those in need
  • Support local agencies providing continued tornado relief
  • Provide lodging and meals for long-term relief teams traveling to the area
  • Implement the Mercy Chefs Grocery Box Distribution Program in Western Kentucky

Founder Gary LeBlanc told News 3, “It’s going to be quite a while until the people here can get back on their feed, and Mercy Chefs is committed not only to being an immediate responder in disaster, but staying as long as we’re needed in the community. For here in western Kentucky, we’ll stay well into the summer.”

LeBlanc says they use the help of local volunteers and also plan to hire some of the residents who lost their jobs due to the tornado damage.

For more information, including how to help with their efforts, click here.

Related: Hampton Roads Incident Management Team helps clean up after Kentucky tornadoes