Report From Alabama (3/5)

Gary LeBlanc filed this report from Lee County, Alabama:

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AL update: Monster storm worst since 2013

Mercy Chefs ise officially deploying here in Lee County, Alabama -- the very epicenter of the tornado strikes. Our Mercy Chefs mobile kitchen has arrived here in Lee County, along with our chefs and team. That means we will be serving meals TOMORROW -- STARTING WITH BREAKFAST!

Our team will be serving at the heart of the worst tornado damage, providing breakfast and lunch to first responders and volunteer cleanup teams. With schools out due to the storm, we expect to also be providing meals to many kids. As emergency workers and those in the community hear about Mercy Chefs, we expect the demand will grow throughout the week and into the weekend.

+ + "Monster" tornado worst since 2013

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Tornadoes Devastate Alabama!

Update from Panama City (headed now to Alabama)

Our team arrived yesterday in Panama City for our month-long redeployment and was greeted by sirens and alerts for a tornado warning. As you know, before the day was over, massive tornadoes had ripped through Alabama and Georgia, leaving at least 23 dead and thousands devastated.

+ + Headed to Alabama now!

Calls immediately came for Mercy Chefs to help in Alabama. This morning, I am headed to the epicenter of the tornado strikes and will arrive midday to assess how and where Mercy Chefs can best assist. A Mercy Chefs mobile kitchen is already on the way.

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Mind Boggling...

A few weeks ago, we realized that Mercy Chefs was nearing our two-millionth meal served. Quite frankly, the thought was a bit overwhelming for me. And quite humbling.

Consider just how large the number 2,000,000 is...

Two million meals could feed a family of four three meals a day for... 456 years!

Or it would provide dinner for every person in the average sized church in America (about 190 people) every day for... nearly 30 years!

What's mind boggling most of all to me is that I honestly never imagined that Mercy Chefs would have such an impact.

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Milestone Coming: Two Million Meals

We are just WEEKS from a major milestone in Mercy Chefs' history...

Some time this Spring, Mercy Chefs will serve our TWO-MILLIONTH MEAL! It's really hard to imagine that what started as a dream literally out of my home has grown into what I believe is one of the most effective outreaches in providing quality meals in the aftermath of major disasters and to hurting children and families.

It is quite possible that we will reach this milestone NEXT MONTH during our extended re-deployment to Florida -- what will be our longest and largest re-deployment in Mercy Chefs' history. But to reach this goal, we are going to need the help of every Mercy Chefs friend and partner.

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Gary's "Super" Hot Crab Dip!

Recently, Gary LeBlanc was a guest on a morning TV show to share the vision of Mercy Chefs and to offer his Hot Crab Dip recipe. (Photos courtesy of WTKR.)

Watch the segment here.

Ingredients and instructions:

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Shocking facts on Florida disaster

I was just alerted to some shocking facts regarding Hurricane Michael...

And it explains in part why there is still such a persistent crisis all throughout the Florida Panhandle.

According to published reports, the major relief organizations received just a fraction of the total support after Hurricane Michael as compared to other major, recent disasters. For example, Red Cross received just ONE-TENTH of the support after Michael as compared to 2017's Hurricane Harvey. United Way's funding dropped by 86% and Salvation Army saw a similar decline.

It's so bad that local media are now calling this area the "Forgotten Coast."

 

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My vision for 2019

I want to share with you my vision for 2019. But first, I have a confession...

Last year totally wrecked me.

Specifically, our time on the Florida Panhandle moved me. It challenged me. It broke me. And it made me more determined than ever to make sure Mercy Chefs fulfills its mission to "feed body and soul."

Since I founded Mercy Chefs nearly 13 years ago, I have had an up-and-close look at some of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history. I've seen hurricanes devastate communities. I've witnessed the ravages of uncontrolled fires tearing through entire neighborhoods. I've stood in the path of mile-wide tornadoes that literally destroyed every home and building in its path. I've seen how a rapidly rising river can devastate an entire town overnight.

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Surge Newsletter Is Here!

Our latest SURGE newsletter highlights how your support is making a difference through Mercy Chefs! Go here to access!

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Thanks For What YOU Did In 2018!

More than 226,000 meals... and countless lives impacted BECAUSE OF YOU!

Please watch this brief video highlighting the difference your support made in 2018 and thanks!

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