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Thanks for good food

The Mercy Chefs came to town recently to serve in a way that’s similar to, yet different from, what they’re used to.

Mercy Chefs was founded after Hurricane Katrina devasted New Orleans, La., the hometown of founder Gary LeBlanc. Ever since, it has responded to disasters across the nation.

The COVID-19 pandemic truly is a disaster, but it is unlike many others that usually bring the Mercy Chefs to town. The disaster relief program usually responds to areas of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the like, where thousands are displaced from their homes or without power, potable water or the other resources needed to store food and prepare meals.

However, the Mercy Chefs chose to step in during this disaster, and we know the local health care community is grateful.

The frontline health care providers at local hospitals may have working kitchens at home, but there are other barriers that, to them, are just as real as flooded roads or stoves with no power. They may be trying to keep their distance from family members. They are working long hours and cannot always be at home. They are physically and mentally exhausted and don’t want to expend the time and energy it takes to prepare meals.

That’s where Mercy Chefs comes in — the organization recently visited hospitals across South Hampton Roads to help provide food to these workers.

Workers at Sentara Obici Hospital were treated to what sounds like a gourmet feast: a Southern grilled chicken wrap with cilantro lime sour cream and corn salsa, chips, black bean and tomato quinoa salad and a snickerdoodle cookie. We can only imagine how much they relished this meal during yet another long shift.

We send our thanks to Mercy Chefs for seeing a need and responding to care for our frontline health care workers in this dark time.