MAYFIELD, Ky. — Mercy Chefs is a faith-based disaster relief organization based out of Portsmouth, Virginia that provides restaurant-quality meals in times of natural disasters. 

What You Need To Know

  • Mercy Chefs was founded in 2006 by Chef Gary LeBlanc

  • LeBlanc also serves as Mercy Chefs CEO

  • LeBlanc founded Mercy Chefs after surviving Hurricane Katrina

  • Mercy Chefs has served over 18.5 million meals since being founded

The volunteer organization is making sure people in Mayfield don’t wake up hungry or go to sleep hungry. The group of volunteers has served lunch, dinner at His House Ministries since the deadly EF-4 tornado that killed 21 people in Graves County.

Mercy Chefs volunteers serve dinner Sunday afternoon. (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)

His House Ministries in Mayfield serves as a three-in-one facility. First, it’s a place of worship, but because of the tornado it has become a place for families to get essentials known as a distribution center, and lastly it’s been a place where families can get a warm meal from Mercy Chefs. Each scoop of food volunteers scoop is with love and kindness. Volunteers are from various different states around the United States, some drive, some fly for natural disaster relief deployments.

“Well Mercy Chef’s pulled into town Saturday night right after the tornado came through. We were on sight within12 hours later. We started feeding hot meals that evening and we’ve been feeding hot meals ever since,” said LeBlanc.

On any given day during lunch and dinner 400-600 meals are served at His House Ministries and it’s with the freshest, healthiest ingredients. LeBlanc founded Mercy Chefs after being a survivor of hurricane Katrina. He was unsatisfied with the quality of food he and other people were given during one of the hardest times in their lives. LeBlanc believes having good food in a time of disaster releases some worry people have.

“And that was sort of the birth of Mercy Chefs, I just truly believed there was a better way to bring love to people in the form of the food than what I saw. Our desire is to work in a local community and aid in recovery and restoration,” said LeBlanc.

Volunteering for Mercy Chefs is something the heart just tells people to do. 

“I get asked all the time why do I do this. Why do you leave home? Why do you sleep on the floor? Why do you spend your own money? Why do you do this? I know why I do this, it’s what I was built to do, it’s the source of great satisfaction in my life. I think the bigger question is I don’t understand why more people don’t do this?,” said LeBlanc.

Mercy Chefs plans to be in Mayfield as long as the community needs them to be.