Our teams have arrived in the New Orleans area and we are serving our first meals to Hurricane Ida victims this evening!
We have established our base of operations at Celebration Church in Metairie -- just a few miles from Bourbon Street and downtown New Orleans.
From this location, we will be able to serve those in New Orleans and other communities to the south and west that were hit extremely hard.
This entire area is still reeling from the storm. Hundreds were evacuated off their roofs or from their attics yesterday and many areas are still under feet of water. In the neighboring St. John the Baptist Parish (just west of our base of operation), nearly 800 people were rescued!
The levees held, but the power network did not. As I write, MORE THAN ONE MILLION CUSTOMERS are still without power. And now the oppressive, late summer heat is setting in. Heat advisories were out all day with a heat index of 106 degrees.
The combination of loss of power and oppressive heat is extremely dangerous. Perishable foods in homes will be unusable in a very short time. That's why Mercy Chefs is ramping up to provide up to 15,000 meals daily as soon as possible.
But to do so, I URGENTLY NEED THE HELP OF EVERY MERCY CHEFS FRIEND AND PARTNER ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
Will you partner with me to provide hot meals to Hurricane Ida victims -- starting with tonight's dinner? Go here to help sponsor 10, 20, 50 or even 100 meals for Hurricane Ida victims in Louisiana who desperately need our help:
As I noted yesterday this is going to be a VERY CHALLENGING DEPLOYMENT -- both in scope and logistics. With power expected to be out for weeks, we are preparing to serve tens of thousands of meals. And since much of the infrastructure has been compromised, we may have to create our own supply line all the way to Houston to get the food and supplies we need.
Costs are already mounting. We pre-loaded a full tractor trailer truck and a refrigerated truck and brought them with us to the New Orleans. I'll need another truck of food almost immediately.
Please help. And please pray for the people here.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. Every gift will help. We are ramping up to serve thousands of meals from two mobile kitchens. I'm expecting we'll be at full capacity soon, but we can't do this work alone! Go here to donate online or for instructions on how to send a check to help sponsor meals for hurricane victims:
Image source: U.S. Coast Guard Heartland Twitter