Labor Day Morning from New Orleans area
The need is overwhelming. We've already exceeded our limits. I don't know how long we can sustain this -- 18,000 hot meals every day. I urgently need help. Go here to sponsor meals for Ida victims who are coming to us with no place else to turn, and see below. --Gary
The situation here is heartbreaking. People are hungry. Every time we feed someone, we find three more who need help.
In 15 years of working in disaster relief, I've never seen this kind of need. In some areas, 90 percent of the homes are damaged. The people here feel abandoned. They come to us and ask us, "Where is the government? Where are the larger relief organizations?" But they haven't seen them. They tell us they only see Mercy Chefs, and the need is so great, it's overwhelming our resources.
For example, we took 500 meals to Houma -- one of the hardest hit areas southwest of New Orleans -- and 1,000 people showed up for meals. So we sent 1,000 meals the next day, and 1,500 showed up. This is happening day after day. And I'm still getting multiple calls every day from folks who haven't seen any outside help and are desperate for meals.
More people in Louisiana lost power from Ida than Katrina. The people here have been without power and water for a full week and some areas are still WEEKS AWAY from having power restored. This is a powder keg that's getting ready to explode, but the national news has all-but ignored what's happening. The people down here are starting to ask if the rest of the country knows.... if the rest of the country cares. "Have we been forgotten and abandoned again?"
Mercy Chefs is here. Today, we'll serve another 18,000+ hot meals across 14 locations. This is the most difficult and widespread relief effort in our history. Our food costs alone are staggering. The daily food bills alone can be $40,000 or more. We've already consumed nine tractor trailer trucks of food. We went through an entire tractor trailer full of ice in less than three hours.
I'm expecting this desperate need will continue for weeks. But quite honestly, I don't know how long we can sustain this -- without a miracle of provision in the next 48 hours!
Once again, I'm turning to faithful Mercy Chefs friends and partners like you...
I have no place else to turn...
Will you help me in a special way right now to meet the overwhelming and heartbreaking need here in Louisiana?
I'm asking you to prayerfully consider matching or exceeding your best gift to Mercy Chefs so we can stand in the gap for Hurricane Ida victims right now. We'll serve another 18,000 meals today -- but we can only continue this with your help! Go here to make your best possible, tax-deductible gift to Mercy Chefs:
Again, this is truly heartbreaking. We just heard about an entire Spanish speaking community that has not received food or water since the storm. Somehow, my Mercy Chefs team will make a way to get them meals.
I know we must stay. But I can't do it without the greatest response of support that we've ever seen.
Will you partner with Mercy Chefs at this critical time of need so we can help this lifeline of support going for hurting people here in Louisiana? Go here to make your gift.
If you've already helped, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I ask again only because the need is so desperate.
Finally, please pray for our team. The Mercy Chefs crew gets started before sunrise every day and works long hours in very difficult conditions. Yet every day, they start a little earlier in the hopes that they can make more meals to feed more people.
Thanks in advance for your help, and God bless,
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs