As I've been sharing, Mercy Chefs is moving quickly to establish a "Beacon Of Hope" long-term kitchen on the Florida Panhandle to provide hot meals to the 5,500 children left HOMELESS as a result of Hurricane Michael.
This is one of the largest long-term disaster recovery projects we have taken on. The cost will be in excess of $200,000, but the need is that urgent in part because of this alarming fact:
To date, Congress has not allocated even ONE DOLLAR of disaster relief for Hurricane Michael victims -- despite the fact that this was the third-largest storm ever to hit the U.S. and was just upgraded to a Category Five hurricane!
Like many things in Washington, D.C., partisan politics is getting in the way of doing the right thing and helping those who are suffering. To put this in perspective, more than six months after Hurricane Michael struck, no relief bill has been passed -- compared to the $15 billion package signed about two weeks following Hurricane Harvey in 2017!
As a result, we are facing a serious HUMANITARIAN CRISIS unlike anything I've seen since Katrina. Last week, we received word that FEMA recently cut funding for temporary housing -- forcing more people into the streets and tent cities. And suffering most of all are the children. Imagine if an additional 5,000 children in your community were suddenly forced out of their homes and into the streets? This is precisely what happened in Panama City!
Given the urgency of the situation, we must be ready to serve meals by June 1. To meet this deadline, I need to get some minor repairs done to the kitchen while also retrofitting the facility to house up to 80 mission workers throughout the summer (there is no affordable housing nearby for our staff and volunteers). And in reality, I have only about three weeks to get my staff in place.
I'm so grateful for every friend of Mercy Chefs who has stepped up since we made this announcement late last week. As of this morning, we need about $20,000 this week to keep this "Beacon Of Hope" project on track for the June 1 deadline.
Will you prayerfully consider how you can help? This is the greatest gap between need and relief that I have ever seen in the aftermath of a natural disaster -- made worse by the lack of federal funds. Will you help me fill the gap? Please go here to partner with Mercy Chefs to bring relief to Panama City and continue other vital efforts:
So many people in Panama City have told me that Mercy Chefs is their hero and their life saver -- a true Godsend! I always tell these folks that faithful partners of this ministry are the real heroes, the real life savers, the true Godsends! Without friends like you stepping up to help Mercy Chefs, we cannot respond to the need.
Thank you for your prayers. And thanks in advance for your continued financial partnership!
God bless you!
Gary LeBlanc, Founder
P.S. The lack of federal response has exacerbated the crisis in Florida. But God is opening an amazing door for Mercy Chefs to fill the gap! City officials are giving us access to one of the shut-down schools to utilize and establish a Mercy Chefs beacon of hope to feed children and families who have been forced to the streets or into tent communities. But I must get moving quickly so we can start serving meals when school breaks for the summer the first week of June. Please go here to make your tax-deductible gift to Mercy Chefs: