Families left homeless by tornado NEED HELP

Monday P.M.

The demand for disaster meals in Chattanooga has only increased. In fact, we just received a new request for Mercy Chefs to help families left homeless by the tornado in a new way. Go here to make your tax-deductible gift to help tornado victims today, and see below for my full report. --Gary

Every day the need seems to grow along with the opportunities to serve the tornado victims in Chattanooga.

For example, so many homes in East Chattanooga have been destroyed that many families are now being put up in hotels in the area. Because we were providing many of them high-quality meals every day, the families in the hotels started specifically requesting Mercy Chefs meals!

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Tornado response: I need help THIS WEEKEND

Saturday Morning from East Chattanooga

We've served over 10,000 meals already here and the need is still great. We just added more resources and will exceed 4,000 meals today alone. I need help THIS WEEKEND. Go here to make your tax-deductible gift to help tornado victims, and see below for the latest updates on this shocking storm. --Gary

I don't know where to begin. The tornado that ripped apart East Chattanooga was a MONSTER
-- 3/4 of a mile wide and just upgraded to an EF-4 based on the damage assessments. This one-minute video our team took while in the neighborhood delivering meals will take your breath away.

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Shocking One-Minute Video Of Chattanooga Tornado Destruction

The tornado that ripped apart East Chattanooga was a MONSTER -- 3/4 of a mile wide and just upgraded to an EF-4 based on the damage assessments. This one-minute video our team took while in the neighborhood delivering meals will take your breath away. We still need your help! Go here to sponsor meals for tornado victims and volunteers:

Chattanooga Tornado Updated to EF-4

We were not surprised to hear today that the tornado that hit Chattanooga earlier this week has been upgraded to an EF-4 tornado. When we arrived in Chattanooga, we were initially shocked by such widespread devastation. Power isn't expected to return to this area until next week, but between now and then residents are faced with many unknowns. Today during our very emotional meal deliveries we saw miles and miles of devastation as we heard chainsaws whirring in the distance and birds chirping all around. Daily, we're serving as many meals as possible to those affected by this tragedy, meeting them right where they are, during these difficult times. We want you to know that your prayers sustain us during emotionally draining days like today, and we are so thankful for your continued support as we keep #feedingbodyandsoul.

Posted by Mercy Chefs on Friday, April 17, 2020

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Tornado update: Demand for meals just DOUBLED

Thursday Afternoon from East Chattanooga

We rushed a second team here and they have already DOUBLED our meal distribution. The tornado that ripped through Chattanooga was devastating. Please go here to help and see below for the latest. --Gary

The damage we are seeing and the stories we are hearing take your breath away.

First off, there was almost no warning. One man said they had about 30 seconds from when the power went out to when the tornado hit. The family was all climbing into the bathtub when they saw the roof getting blown off their house.

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Entire neighborhoods DESTROYED; much worse than news reports

Wednesday P.M. from East Chattanooga

We started serving meals to tornado victims and volunteers today at lunch and we're already exceeding our planned capacity. The need here is great and I must expand our efforts. Please see below. --Gary

The situation here in East Chattanooga is MUCH WORSE than anything you may have seen on the national news...


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Tornado death toll rises: "there was no warning"

The reality of the size and scope of the tornado that went through Chattanooga on Easter Sunday is just now starting to come into focus. Based on the wreckage it left behind, it is now clear that this EF-3 tornado was a massive 1,500 yards wide (8/10 of a mile) and left a path at least nine miles long. Local officials are calling the damage "unbelievable" and the entire community is still in shock as the death toll in this area has risen to ten.

One woman who had lived through hurricanes in Florida told Knox News, "I've never gone through this before in my life. There was no warning." 

Our Mercy Chefs team is arriving throughout the day. Chefs are coming in from Washington, D.C. and Texas. We have a kitchen crew coming from Alabama. The mobile kitchen just arrived (pictured). We are setting up our site at a local church that reached out to us based on our work in Nashville earlier this year. Our location is just a few miles from the hardest hit area of East Chattanooga called East Brainerd. The governor and his wife toured the area today.

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Massive Easter Tornadoes: DEPLOYING NOW

As I write, Mercy Chefs is deploying in response to the massive tornadoes that hit the South yesterday, leaving at least two dozen dead and 1.2 million homes and businesses without power.

This is devastating, especially with all that is already taking place with the coronavirus crisis. Mercy Chefs is headed to Chattanooga, one of the hardest hit areas, and will be setting up our mobile kitchen and command post over the next 24 hours. My wife Ann and I are departing tonight and our chef team will arrive tomorrow. Our command post vehicle is leaving later tonight and the mobile kitchen that is based in Birmingham (AL) will be on the road in the morning.

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Here are the latest updates on our COVID-19 relief efforts

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Expanding again to meet COVID-19 need

The nationwide coronavirus crisis is creating more need for Mercy Chefs in more places than we have ever seen.

Today, Mercy Chefs and our partners are providing meals to hundreds of families in the hard-hit military community of Hoke County, North Carolina -- just in time for Easter.
And yesterday, we made arrangements to add Dallas to the growing list of communities for which Mercy Chefs is providing meals during this crisis. As I write, we are now approaching a dozen communities who will be receiving 30,000-40,000 meals a week -- and my phone keeps ringing.

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Easter meals TODAY for hurting families

This Easter weekend we are providing hundreds of mostly military families in a hard-hit community in North Carolina with meals. For the volunteers on the ground, it feels very much like a miracle of God's provision as they had just ran out of supplies (see below for all the details).

This is such a critical time. Mercy Chefs is expanding into about a dozen communities. I expect we'll provide 30,000-40,000 meals over the next week alone. And my phone keeps ringing! We urgently need the help of every Mercy Chefs friend. Go here to make your best tax-deductible gift to help Mercy Chefs provide tens of thousands of meals during this crisis, and see below for more details.

Gary LeBlanc

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