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Inspiring Stories

Fantastic Friday: Mercy Chefs Edition (VIDEO)

I’ve already mentioned a few stories of altruism and selflessness that took place in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  And it was certainly touching to see so many other people, New Yorkers and otherwise, donate money and time to make a difference in helping people who were affected by the storm.  Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by friends of mine that helped out in Red Hook the past 3 (almost!) weeks, whether that helping out with distributing food, canvassing the neighborhood to assess needs or donating goods and money to local organizations, like Red Hook Initiative, which have been doing great work organizing and executing relief efforts through community based models from the start.  In fact, in Red Hook at least, volunteers and donations were so plentiful, there were frequently too many of them.  While that can present some problems in terms of logistics and efficiency, one thing that can’t be criticized is the overwhelming desire to pitch in.

Add to this list of people with giving hearts a group called Mercy Chefs, an all-volunteer non-profit based in Portsmouth, VA with a mission of feeding people who are victims of national disasters.  Founder, Gary LeBlanc came up with the idea following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and “Mercy Chefs was founded 9 months later to bring volunteers and industry professionals together, with the most efficient equipment available, in a way no one had done before.”

Not surprisingly then, LeBlanc, chefs and volunteers were quick to the scene in NY in response to Hurricane Sandy:

Immediately after the hurricane hit, Mercy Chefs packed up food supplies and headed to the lower east side of Manhattan to provide hot meals to thousands of people without power or food. During the first few days, Mercy Chefs served nearly 20,000 people at each given meal time.

Check out the video to see Mercy Chefs in action…

Have a Fantastic Friday everyone!



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