This wasn't my smartest move...

Can I share with you some of the practical realities we're facing in the aftermath of the largest deployment in Mercy Chefs' history? Please see below. --Gary

Earlier this summer I was driving our Freightliner truck (our only truck that's big enough to pull our largest kitchen) to Tennessee for Mercy Chefs' flood response when I ran into a few, well, challenges.

First the A/C stopped working...

But that was only an inconvenience compared to what happened next...

The brakes started to become less and less responsive -- not a good sign when you are pulling several tons of gross vehicle weight!

Fortunately, we were close to our deployment site, and I was able to nurse our truck and mobile kitchen into town. But it was a warning...

Our 21-year-old Freightliner truck has seen better days!

We were able to get the old truck in working order in time for our deployment for Hurricane Ida. But the extent of our Ida deployment has caused its own set of problems....

+ + Our Ida deployment took a toll on our equipment

We left Louisiana with two of our support vehicles needing major repairs. We lost one of our ovens. I also need to repurchase several tents and awnings we use to serve meals that were destroyed by inclement weather during our deployment and several other pieces of equipment that just ran their course. And it's becoming very clear that our Freightliner needs to be replaced sooner rather than later!

I'm sharing this with you because these are some of the practical realities my team is facing in the aftermath of our Hurricane Ida deployment in which you helped us serve more than 200,000 meals. Your support made our Ida response one of the most productive and impactful in Mercy Chefs' history. But now I'm estimating the costs just to repair what's been broken or has worn out will exceed tens of thousands of dollars. Add to that a used Freightliner, and I have a huge challenge I really need to resolve before our next major deployment, if possible.

And here's the reality of our Ida deployment -- we're still paying the grocery bills, which totaled into the hundreds of thousands of dollars (remember, we served over 200,000 meals!).

+ + Here's what I'm asking you to consider today...

To get us on the path to restoring our trucks and equipment, we need about $35,000 in the next week to ten days. If you believe in the mission of Mercy Chefs to provide hot meals in the aftermath of disaster, will you help us restore our resources so we can feed more people? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift directly to Mercy Chefs:

What we do right now to re-tool and prepare for the next deployment is just as critical as what we do when we are on site serving meals. In fact, we can't serve meals without this critical recovery work!

One more note...

+ + If the Lord has blessed you abundantly...

If are in a position to help us with a major donation right now toward the purchase of a replacement Freightliner that will serve as the backbone of our disaster deployments for years to come, would you consider a special gift right now? You can go here to make your gift online or by check through the mail.

Of course, every gift will help us re-tool and be ready for the next deployment. As you know, we are still in the midst of hurricane season. That's why I want to get this work done as soon as possible.

Thank you so much for your faithful partnership. Your support equipped us to serve over 200,000 meals in response to Ida -- and millions more over the past year.

May God bless you,

Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs

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  • Tina Fox
    published this page in News 2021-10-07 17:25:57 -0400