Monday Afternoon from Pensacola
It poured yesterday. Deluge. It's the last thing these folks in Pensacola needed after being overwhelmed by 30 inches of rain from Hurricane Sally.
We thought for a moment it might slow down the rush of people coming to Mercy Chefs for help. But it didn't. Long lines of cars stretched for blocks -- just like Saturday and just like again today. But it was the seemingly unending line of people who walked to our location and patiently waited for a meal -- in the rain -- that really grabbed my heart.
Some just broke down in tears when we handed them meals for their family.
The need is that urgent here.
+ + He woke up to find his bed was floating!
In addition to those coming to Mercy Chefs, our team is delivering meals in some areas that are struggling the most.
One man shared with our staff that he was awakened on the night of the storm because his bed was floating! He immediately jumped up and started looking for his brother who is a paraplegic, fearing he may have drowned in the floodwaters. Thankfully, the flood hadn't yet reached his brother. Even though the waters have receded, the carpeting in their apartment is still soaked and mold is already forming. They are still hoping to be evacuated. Until then, Mercy Chefs meals are a lifeline of practical relief.
In all, we served 6,200 meals yesterday -- much of it in the pouring rain. The numbers could be higher today.
I had to order another truckload of food just to keep up with the demand, trusting that friends from across the country will continue to partner with us to meet these critical needs. We could easily serve another 15,000 or more meals this week. Every meal is made possible by the generosity of our partners.
Will you help me meet this need in Pensacola as the people keep coming in waves almost non stop -- even in the pouring rain? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift directly to Mercy Chefs to help provide hot meals to hurricane victims here in Pensacola:
We hear that a federal disaster declaration may happen soon. That will help. But for now, our Mercy Chefs staff and volunteers have been a very important face of relief for many in this hard-hit community.
It's been heartbreaking to see so many people hurting so badly. Many walk to us to get meals because they have no other choice. Their cars were flooded and ruined by the storm. They can't get out of town even if they wanted to. That's why these meals are so powerful and important. And it's why people are willing to wait through a downpour for a hot meal from Mercy Chefs.
Thank you so much for partnering with us during what is a critical time for so many in the aftermath of this storm.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs