Mercy Chefs returning to Louisiana to distribute 7,500 Thanksgiving meals

Published 1:53 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

LAPLACE — Mercy Chefs, a Portsmouth, Va.-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that serves chef-prepared meals to victims and first responders in emergencies and natural disasters, will be distributing 7,500 Thanksgiving meals to multiple communities in Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Ida in the coming days. There will be 3,500 meals distributed in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and 4,000 of the meals will be distributed on Thanksgiving Day in LaPlace in partnership with Cargill and Blessed to be a Blessing.

The nonprofit has an annual tradition of returning to communities that have been impacted by disasters in the previous year to serve holiday meals. Mercy Chefs was in Louisiana for weeks following Hurricane Ida, and the deployment was ultimately the largest in the organization’s history with Mercy Chefs serving more than 214,000 hot meals and distributing 165,000 grocery boxes.

The holiday meals, which include turkey and gravy, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, pumpkin cake and rolls, will be served as both hot meals that ready to eat and cold family packs to serve four people that can be reheated later at home.

“These at-risk communities in Louisiana lost so much during Ida, and our team feels fortunate to be able to return during the holiday season to continue to support them in recovery,” said Gary LeBlanc, founder of Mercy Chefs. “We believe that food is love and serving these Thanksgiving meals allows us to bring that to life.”

Details on the meal distributions and locations are as follows:

  • On Saturday, Nov. 20:
    • Mercy Chefs will distribute meals in Kenner at 502 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Kenner, LA 70062 in partnership with the West Esplanade Campus of Church of the King. Mercy Chefs also will be distributing gift cards.
    • Mercy Chefs will distribute hot meals and family packs in New Orleans in partnership with Bethany Church New Orleans.
  • On Monday, Nov. 22:
    • Mercy Chefs will distribute family packs in New Orleans in partnership with Bethany Church New Orleans.
  • On Tuesday, Nov. 23:
    • Mercy Chefs will distribute family packs in Marrero in partnership with Life Center Cathedral.
  • On Wednesday, Nov. 24:
    • Mercy Chefs will distribute family packs in Lafitte and other parishes in lower Southeastern Louisiana.
  • On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25:
    • Mercy Chefs will distribute meals in LaPlace in partnership with Cargill at East St. John Preparatory Academy, located at 400 Ory Dr., LaPlace, LA 70068. Mercy Chefs also will be distributing grocery boxes and gift cards.

Mercy Chefs was founded in 2006 in the aftermath of Katrina when LeBlanc went to New Orleans to volunteer and realized disaster relief could be done better. Mercy Chefs has served over 18.5 million meals since 2006 in response to national and international emergencies and natural disasters.

To support Mercy Chefs in its current relief efforts, visit Follow Mercy Chefs’ Facebook page for the latest updates on its relief efforts.


Mercy Chefs is a 501c3 founded in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The organization exists to provide professionally prepared, restaurant-quality meals to victims, volunteers and first responders in natural disasters and national emergencies and partners with existing ministries with food service in underserved communities around the country. Since its founding, Mercy Chefs has served over 18.5 million meals. In 2020, Mercy Chefs founder Gary LeBlanc was recognized by Southern Living Magazine as a “Hometown Hero,” and Mercy Chefs was named the 2020 Small Business of the Year in the nonprofit category by Inside Business and the Hampton Roads Chamber. In 2015, it received both the Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism Award and the Hampton Roads Volunteer Achievement Award for its service. For more information, visit