Crushing reality

I never imagined that, more than four months into the COVID crisis, Mercy Chefs would still be seeing such urgent needs in so many places.

But that is the crushing reality for far too many people in America right now, and it's why I'm writing to you today.

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Unprecedented

As we rush into August, Mercy Chefs is once again entering what is for us uncharted, unprecedented territory.

Consider all that Mercy Chefs is doing as August begins...

  • We've already had a full deployment for Hurricane Hanna in Texas and then spent this past weekend preparing for a possible second deployment along the East Coast for Isaias that fortunately never materialized. This is just the start of what experts are saying could be the "second most active hurricane season on record."

  • Meanwhile, our teams are continuing to provide hundreds of thousands of meals through our "Farmers to Families" outreaches in Oklahoma, Florida, Virginia and Puerto Rico.

  • We are also continuing to provide groceries for folks on the hard-hit island of Maui in Hawaii and are preparing thousands of individual meals at our community kitchen at our headquarters in Virginia.
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I want to do more...

It is moments like these that tear at my mind and heart.

There must be some way we can do more...

+ + Thousands of meals this weekend...

Friday through Sunday, we will serve over 5,000 meals in flooded Texas.
The need is great. Those who are volunteering with us are still without power, but they are here helping their neighbors even in the midst of their own need. Despite all the struggles with the Coronavirus and now this storm, they want to keep loving and supporting their community. Firemen and police officers and town employees are coming to get meals to deliver to people they know by name and who need help.

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FIRST LOOK at TX hurricane damage

Thursday P.M.

As I write, our team is preparing and serving meals to Texas hurricane victims. Please go here to help, and see below for details. -- Gary

The floodwaters have mostly receded, but the 17 inches of rain that hit South Texas has left many homes damaged and families struggling to pick up the pieces.


Our team is seeing the all-too familiar sites of blue tarps on houses, piles of debris in yards, and people still trying to sort out what next steps they should take.

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Hurricane meals TODAY

Our team arrived yesterday to open arms from partners we had worked with during prior outreaches.

The need in these hard-hit communities is great. Many people were already at risk and in poverty before COVID. In the past few months, the area has been ravaged by the economic fallout from the COVID crisis. Unemployment is rampant.

Then, the hurricane hit -- dropping 17 inches of rain in four hours. The flooding just multiplied the suffering and complicated the issue of local communities bearing the brunt of responding to issues created by the ongoing border catastrophe.

These communities in the Rio Grande River are urgently in need of help.
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Communities UNDER WATER from TX Hurricane

Over the weekend, Hurricane Hanna made landfall along the south Texas Gulf Coast, bringing high winds and massive amounts of rain to the area.

As much as 17 inches of rain hit the region IN JUST FOUR HOURS, leaving many areas devastated from the flooding.

+ + Towns Under Water!

I just got off the phone with my contact in the area who spoke with the mayors of McAllen, Sullivan City, Mission, and Palm View -- towns that were UNDER WATER after the deluge of rain hit. All four mayors remembered Mercy Chefs for our Thanksgiving outreach a few years back and specifically asked if it was possible for our teams to come and help their communities in the midst of this crisis. THEY ASKED FOR US BY NAME! 

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More trouble ahead

More trouble ahead for our nation's economy and especially hurting families and elderly shut-ins...

The new unemployment claims rose again this past week. Another 1.4 MILLION Americans filed FIRST-TIME unemployment claims.

Analysts were stunned.

+ + "The economy cannot carry on for long"

"The economy cannot carry on for long" with more than a million workers losing their jobs each and every week, said one economist. Bankruptcies are rising among retail businesses and the worry now is that "temporary job losses will become permanent" resulting in "an even slower pace of recovery."

 

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Breakthrough to help reach even more people

Thanks to some dear friends of Mercy Chefs, I'm thrilled to share with you a breakthrough that will help us reach even more hurting families and elderly shut-ins this summer.

Some friends of this ministry pooled their resources to help create a $30,000 SUMMER OUTREACH MATCHING CHALLENGE to help Mercy Chefs meet the unprecedented need for meals we're seeing this summer (it's possible we could provide ONE MILLION MEALS this month alone!).

There is no way we could have projected this incredible demand. That means we urgently need help right now.

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Drone footage: people lining up for help!

The latest first-time unemployment filings once again topped 1 MILLION -- 1.3 million to be precise. Analysts are concerned that the "challenges to economic recovery are multiplying." According to Bloomberg, the numbers indicate that "economic pain remains widespread."

We're still seeing the effects of the economic recession/depression all across the country. This month, we'll provide more than 500,000 meals and the demand is showing no signs of letting up.

+ + Drone footage: lines and lines of cars coming for help

I wanted you to see this drone footage that captures what a regular distribution day looks like at one of our larger Farmers to Families distribution sites in Claremore, Oklahoma. Please take a moment to watch. It is not uncommon for us to see lines and lines of cars waiting for help. Go here

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7 kids. No car. Need help.

Earlier this month we received a message through our Facebook page...

A woman who lives outside of Panama City was letting us know that a family in her community with seven children was in desperate need of help. They didn't have a vehicle and she asked if there was any way Mercy Chefs could get them some food, even though they were about a 25-minute drive away from our base of operations.

After speaking with her for a little while, our team learned that this woman's family also was in need of help and also didn't have a car. Within a day, our team made sure both these large families had the groceries they needed. 

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