For a second time this year, help has arrived in Louisiana to offer a slice of comfort to families reeling after yet another devastating hurricane. 

Mercy Chefs, a faith-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, has deployed from its home in Portsmouth, Va., to Lake Charles for the second time in a matter of weeks to serve meals in the wake of Hurricane Delta. 

“It is devastating to be back in Lake Charles so soon, but it’s tremendously important for us to be here serving the community,” Mercy Chefs founder Gary LeBlanc said in a statement. “Louisiana has endured so much in recent months, and our hope that the hospitality of our team will bring solace to the Lake Charles community.”

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The organization travels to places impacted by natural disasters and national emergencies to prepare gourmet meals for free, with dishes people would normally find in a restaurant. 

Mercy Chefs has arrived in Lake Charles, La. to distribute hot meals in a disaster area yet again after Hurricane Delta.

Mercy Chefs has arrived in Lake Charles, La. to distribute hot meals in a disaster area yet again after Hurricane Delta.
(Mercy Chefs)

“If you’re receiving food from a disaster relief site, you would never expect fresh berry cobblers or salads tossed in balsamic vinaigrette,” Hardette Harris, a Shreveport-based chef, told the Shreveport Times. “When the people come in that’s something they’re looking forward to because when you get back home it’s hot and there’s no electricity, so their food is spoiled. They’re relying on this.”

The last time they were in Lake Charles was after Hurricane Laura blasted through the area in mid-August.

Mercy Chefs has arrived in Lake Charles, La. to distribute hot meals in a disaster area yet again after Hurricane Delta.

Mercy Chefs has arrived in Lake Charles, La. to distribute hot meals in a disaster area yet again after Hurricane Delta.
(Mercy Chefs)

During that time, the group said they served 97,000 meals and distributed 30,000 grocery boxes.

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The organization was founded in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrine and has served over 7.6 million meals. 

Mercy Chefs has arrived in Lake Charles, La. to distribute hot meals in a disaster area yet again after Hurricane Delta.

Mercy Chefs has arrived in Lake Charles, La. to distribute hot meals in a disaster area yet again after Hurricane Delta.
(Mercy Chefs)

This year the group responded to the derecho in Iowa, four hurricanes, and the coronavirus pandemic by distributing meals through COVID-19 crisis response distribution locations around the country.

Mercy Chefs began serving chef-prepared meals on Sunday at Life United Church in Lake Charles and will plan to do so in the days ahead from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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They also plan on staying in Lake Charles this second time until the need is so longer necessary. 

Mercy Chefs has arrived in Lake Charles, La. to distribute hot meals in a disaster area yet again after Hurricane Delta.

Mercy Chefs has arrived in Lake Charles, La. to distribute hot meals in a disaster area yet again after Hurricane Delta.
(Mercy Chefs)

“We’re going to make sure we provide that hope and comfort that they need right now,” LeBlanc told WAVY-TV.

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