While many are still without power, services are returning, restaurants are beginning to open and some grocery stores are getting restocked after a two week effective shut down of this entire region.
So today, our 15th consecutive day of providing hot meals, will be our last day of full-service, hot meals in Lake Charles. We'll serve another 6,000 meals, bringing our total to close to 90,000 -- far in excess of what I anticipated our top capacity would be for this deployment. The conditions here have been so difficult that some relief groups simply ran out of human or physical resources. Thanks to you, Mercy Chefs has been able to fill in the gaps whenever necessary.
In addition to meals, we have arranged to have two tractor-trailer trucks from the Farmers to Families program brought in so we can also provide meal boxes for families. These are the larger meal boxes with protein, dairy and vegetables -- resources to help those who are returning fill up their refrigerators for the days ahead. Our team is doing everything we can to put food in people's hands.
In addition, tomorrow I will begin scouting locations for a more permanent base for Mercy Chefs' longer-term commitment to Lake Charles. The path to healing and recovery will take months. I'm expecting our work here will be very much like how Mercy Chefs has continued to serve and assist the people of Panama City long after Hurricane Michael hit.
What warms my heart the most has been just how grateful the people have been. The folks here have been amazed that Mercy Chefs came to their community, never mind that we have stayed and served thousands upon thousands of meals, day after day. And they've been blown away by the quality of the meals.
The excellence of the food and the heart of service from our team actually has caused many people to ask WHY are we doing this and WHO made this possible. I always share that God has put it on our hearts to JUST FEED PEOPLE in their toughest times. This is our calling. This is our mission. This is our passion. And then I let them know that good friends across the country like you make every meal possible. Partners like you who donate $50 or $500 or more -- whatever you can and whatever the Lord places on your heart. YOU make this ministry possible. YOU deserve the thanks.
Thank you so much for your prayers and your faithful support. Please keep praying for the people of Lake Charles and surrounding communities. And ask the Lord for wisdom as Mercy Chefs seeks the best way to help these good people in the weeks and months to come.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. Today, our team will serve 6,000 more meals to hurricane victims in Lake Charles. If you want to help by sponsoring 10, 20, 50, or even 100 meals, go here to make your tax-deductible gift: