Mercy Chefs is back in Nashville today, serving both lunch and dinner in one of the most underserved areas of this entire region that was hit by the massive tornadoes earlier this month.
We received the request from our local contacts on Tuesday, so we quickly mobilized a team so that meal service could start at lunch today.
This is precisely why we kept one of our mobile kitchens in Nashville -- so that we could respond on short notice when called upon.
Our Mercy Chefs team will be here through the weekend, serving meals and meeting practical needs during a very challenging time. Since we depend on the generosity of friends like you every time we deploy, we could use your help today and through the weekend. Would you consider making a special tax-deductible contribution to help Mercy Chefs provide hot meals while we continue other efforts? Go here:Read more
We've been continuing to provide hot meals to locations throughout Nashville as well as through our mobile kitchen in the hard-hit region of Mt. Juliet. Today, we served over 1,000 people in Mt. Juliet alone -- both victims and volunteers.
Every disaster deployment is unique. Here in Tennessee we have seen a great outpouring of volunteer support, unlike anything we've ever seen. As I noted to you yesterday, the First Lady of Tennessee, Maria Lee (in the center of the photo)
joined our volunteer force in East Nashville. She jumped on the service line and helped our chefs back in the kitchen. Her Tennessee Serves initiative perfectly matches our desire to support neighbors helping neighbors in their communities in the aftermath of tragedies such as this one.
With every hour that passes, the true magnitude of this storm's devastation grows. For mile after mile, the track of the tornado is visible as it blew up neighborhoods, businesses, warehouses -- everything in its path. It looks like a series of bombs went off.
Other areas were badly damaged by the amount of debris dispersed by the winds.
A lady came to Mercy Chefs almost feeling a bit guilty because, while her home was damaged (she lost part of her roof and her property suffered significant damage), many of her neighbors lost everything. Their houses were destroyed and they are now left to pick through the rubble. This woman came to us in hopes that she could take back meals to her neighbors who had suffered so much. We loaded her up with as many meals as she could take. I'm sure she'll be back. We'll be ready with more meals.Read more
From Nashville, TN
I arrived in Nashville around midday and immediately knew the need here was going to be immense. The destruction is widespread. The death toll has climbed to 24 and there are many still missing.
Authorities still don't know precisely how many tornadoes touched down. One person who thankfully survived the storm's direct hit called living through the tornado "terrifying."
Nashville and surrounding communities have been ravaged by deadly tornadoes that hit late last night. Initial reports indicate 48 buildings collapsed in Nashville alone, with 22 fatalities reported. A state of emergency has been declared and the situation is still quite dangerous as firefighters report as many as 30 rescue workers have been injured.
This is an unprecedented tornado disaster for the city of Nashville as an EF-3 tornado ripped through the downtown area around midnight and then hit surrounding communities.
+ + We are deploying to Nashville as I write!Read more