I face a major decision.
We just launched our third unique coronavirus crisis outreach -- our "Farmers to Families" food box pilot program in Oklahoma. In our first week, this new outreach has already provided food for more than 15,000 people in hard-to-reach areas.
At the same time, this weekend we'll exceed 400,000 meals total
served through our meal box and community kitchen meal programs that continue to minister to tens of thousands every week. We have never reached so many at-risk kids, struggling families and elderly shut-ins in our history.
The cards and letters we receive are both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The need is so great. One senior citizen told us these meals have been "a life saver" during this crisis.
But now, we face a critical crossroads...
+ + Can we expand again to meet the growing need?
With this week's new unemployment numbers, we are closing in on 40 MILLION Americans having lost their jobs since this crisis started. Financial experts are now bracing for a "biblical wave of bankruptcies." The economic disruption we are experiencing is UNPRECEDENTED, and families are just now feeling the impact. Of course, as always, the working poor will feel the brunt of this crisis.
With the need only deepening, I want to immediately expand our "Farmers to Families" program to two more regions -- the Gulf Coast states and the Southeast region -- as soon as this coming week. But to do so, we need an immediate influx of funds this Memorial Day weekend.
Specifically, we need $30,000 in new support over and above our other commitments in the next week to launch these two new "Farmers to Families" programs.
So I'm turning to friends like you who have made it possible for Mercy Chefs to reach out every step of the way during this crisis.
Would you prayerfully consider helping Mercy Chefs in a special way this weekend so we can once again expand to meet the need that is before us? Every gift will help -- $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more -- however the Lord leads.
+ + A practical way we can help our neighbors right now!
When I look at the children's faces and read the letters from families who have been helped, it's hard for me to say "no" to expanding our efforts to reach more hurting families.
Together, three Mercy Chefs "Farmers to Families" programs could reach up to 50,000 people every week -- and that's in addition to our Meal Box program and the thousands of meals being prepared by our Virginia community kitchen. With your help, we could see more than 100,000 people helped every week through Mercy Chefs and your partnership!
But I need to finalize our plans on expanding our "Farmers to Families" effort immediately after Memorial Day.
Will you help?
Thank you for your prayerful consideration, and God bless!
P.S. Some have asked about how our participation in the "Farmers to Families" program works. Through the government program, the food boxes are created as a way to rescue food from farmers that may have been wasted. Mercy Chefs then steps in -- with no reimbursement from the government -- and delivers the food boxes to smaller communities that are often overlooked but have great need. Our expenses are significant -- we need a refrigerated truck, truck driver, warehouse packer, and warehouse space for each location. Plus, because the food boxes are somewhat incomplete, we are supplementing with purchased groceries like rice, pasta, sausage, chicken and bread. There is much work to be done, but all in all, it is an unprecedented opportunity to reach tens if not hundreds of thousands of people at a critical point of need.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping make it possible for Mercy Chefs to "feed body and soul" and reach hundreds of thousands of people during this crisis! Go here to make your tax-deductible gift:
P.P.S. If the Lord has blessed you and you can make a special gift at this time of $1,000, $2,000 or more, now is a great time! Your gift could help get us started in these new locations, especially with the major expenses of renting the refrigerated truck and the driver and warehouse costs. This "Farmers to Families" program leverages your giving to reach even more people. Go here to make your gift online, or for instructions on how to make your gift by check.