We've served over 10,000 meals already here and the need is still great. We just added more resources and will exceed 4,000 meals today alone. I need help THIS WEEKEND. Go here to make your tax-deductible gift to help tornado victims, and see below for the latest updates on this shocking storm. --Gary
I don't know where to begin. The tornado that ripped apart East Chattanooga was a MONSTER
-- 3/4 of a mile wide and just upgraded to an EF-4 based on the damage assessments. This one-minute video our team took while in the neighborhood delivering meals will take your breath away.
Sadly, two more were recently added to the growing fatality list, but it's a miracle many more didn't lose their lives based on the stories we're hearing. One man (pictured here) shared that all he could do was seek shelter under his kitchen table as his home was destroyed all around him. That's the pastor of one of our partner churches (Venue Church) praying with him.
The level of death and devastation has been emotionally challenging for everyone here, including our team. I just added more staff and equipment, including a barbecue trailer so we can serve more meals more effectively. The city just named Mercy Chefs the lead food provider for the disaster, so we're expecting the demand will only increase through this weekend.
With Mercy Chefs in the very center of bringing relief to this devastated area, I need the help of every Mercy Chefs friend and partner THIS WEEKEND.
Would you prayerfully consider making your best possible gift to help Mercy Chefs as we continue to expand to meet the urgent need to feed tornado victims and volunteers here in Chattanooga while we continue other vital efforts? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift:
+ + This week alone Mercy Chefs has served 52,000 people
This has been a week unlike any other in Mercy Chefs' history. As you know, our emergency deployment to Chattanooga came as we were ramping up our outreach in response to the coronavirus crisis in 17 locations across the country. In addition to serving more than 3,500 tornado victims and volunteers yesterday in Chattanooga, we served an additional 8,000 people across the country. That's 11,000 people helped because of friends like you... just yesterday! This week, Mercy Chefs has served 52,000 people and we can already see that we'll serve tens of thousands more in the coming days.
But this level of outreach is stretching our human and financial resources like few times in our history. Please help us meet the urgent need in Chattanooga this weekend while we continue other vital efforts that are bringing relief to tens of thousands this week.
As always, we covet your prayers -- especially for the families who are suffering so greatly right now. And pray for our team. Pray for God's favor and blessing and even His anointing on every meal we serve. These nutritious meals made possible by friends like you carry with them hope and encouragement in ways beyond what we can even understand. I see it time and time again when a downcast face is suddenly filled with hope at the simple offering of a meal prepared in love.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
COVID RESPONSE UPDATE -- We served over 30,000 meals this week! Go here for the latest photos and updates on our coronavirus crisis response.