After the storm on December 26, 2015 there were many organizations that out to help. One group that stood out was Feed3 and Mercy Chefs who immediately went to work on the ground in Garland and Rowlett.
FEED 3 has been in the greater Dallas area since 2010 said its director Randy Skinner who is also founder of Strategic Justice Initiatives, a Dallas based nonprofit that works to develop Safe Homes, Safe Schools, and Safe Communities.
“Feed 3 is a Dallas based organization with a mission that goes beyond hunger relief as we assist local communities in creating self-sustainability,” said Skinner. “Where the traditional food bank can meet a temporary need and never truly end hunger, Feed 3 creates an economic pathway to effectively end real and chronic hunger.”
Currently, FEED 3 is partnering with Mercy Chefs raising funds in order to get people; victims, emergency workers and volunteers, fed on site at some of the worst hit areas from last week’s storm.
“We will be providing support services for Mercy Chefs as long as they are on the ground,” Skinner said. “Then we will meet with local church leaders and school districts to access how we can assist them.”
Mercy Chefs, a non-profit that does high-quality hand crafted meals in disasters and nation emergencies for victims, volunteers and first responders has been onsite in Garland “in the heart of the devastation serving 1500 hot professionally prepared meals daily. This will swell this weekend to 4000 meals daily,” said Mercy Chef Founder and President Gary LeBlanc.
Based in Chesapeake, Virginia with a base of operations in Dallas, Mercy Chefs was birthed in the aftermath of Katrina when founder LeBlanc volunteered to serve in his home town of New Orleans.
LeBlanc said the group would remain on site in Garland into next week if needed.
“All of our chefs are volunteers,” LeBlanc explained. “We come from teaching and food service industry backgrounds. We have six chefs on site and countless volunteers.”
Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert became involved with FEED 3 when he asked Skinner to tackle hunger relief in Dallas.
“I have worked closely with Randy Skinner for years and regard him and FEED 3 as one of the more effective nonprofits in our community. FEED 3 is truly producing demonstrable results in transforming the hunger landscape in Dallas,” said Leppert.” I had the opportunity to work with FEED 3 and Mercy Chefs in the poorest areas of Dallas this past week and saw the impact they are having. They are uniquely positioned to assist our community and the families impacted by this most recent disaster.”
Skinner said too that FEED 3 will also be focusing on the hundreds of students in hard hit areas that are now homeless and have no school uniforms and supplies.
“Their school starts next week,” Skinner said and added that these students will be needing toiletries, school supplies, shoes and uniforms.
“These recent tragedies facing our community have touched each of us deeply,” Leppert concluded. “It gives me and our community great comfort to know Mercy Chefs is on the ground feeding thousands of meals and that FEED 3 is doing long-term follow up with local churches and schools.”