This is already our third week of providing meals in response to the coronavirus crisis, and the demand shows no signs of letting up. This week, we went up another 50% and next week I'm expecting the demand will increase again.
So we're bringing in a second Mercy Chefs crew to help with the expected increased demand and to give us an extra layer of redundancy. Our two teams will be isolated from each other, working from different locations. The nature of this virus can cause things to change quickly, and I want to do everything we can to ensure we can continue providing this lifeline of hope in the form of thousands of meals to those in need.
And the need is increasing. Yesterday, Mercy Chefs was featured on a local TV station and almost immediately our inbox was flooded with messages from elderly shut-ins and folks with special needs children who are not being reached by the food bank. People are very nervous and in most locations the experts say the worst is yet to come. I need to reach these people.
Also, I've been in discussions with good people across the country who need help right now. My team is working on some very creative ways to leverage our resources and contacts to help create perhaps tens if not hundreds of thousands more meals during this crisis.
I can't share those details quite yet until we finalize things, but for now, I'm asking for your help with the need that is right in front of us.
Will you partner with Mercy Chefs THIS WEEKEND so we can reach more kids and more hurting families and more elderly shut-ins who have been impacted by this coronavirus crisis? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift directly to Mercy Chefs:
This is truly unlike any national crisis or disaster we've faced. Yesterday's jobs report indicated that another SIX MILLION people filed new unemployment claims. That's double last week's total, which was the highest in history. Experts say the ranks of the unemployed could double again in the coming days.
Then there's the folks on the front-lines of the battle. We're feeding police and firefighters who are currently under emergency protocols that limit them to eating MREs for safety. One of the fire chiefs told us he had to send five fighters home just the other day because they were exposed to someone infected with COVID-19. But when the authorities saw the safety procedures we had in place, they gave our meals their hearty approval. The firefighters and police officers couldn't be happier to have high-quality meals instead of rations.
Every meal matters. And every gift is making a difference in the lives of people impacted by this virus. Thank you so much for your ongoing faithfulness, and may God bless you.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. If the Lord has blessed you financially, perhaps you would consider a special gift to help with some new equipment we are putting in place to expand our capacity. I just stepped out and installed a tilt skillet to help us continue producing and even expand our current volume of meals. The cost for the equipment and installation is about $10,000 but it will take us to a new level in efficiency and effectiveness. Perhaps a few friends could come together to help. Of course, every gift will make a difference and help us impact lives during this crisis. Go here for information on how to donate by check or to make your gift online:
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