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Mercy Chefs, Operation Blessing Head to Winter Storm Stricken States with Urgent Aid


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Mercy Chefs CEO Gary LeBlanc appeared on the Friday afternoon edition of CBN's Newswatch to talk about the situation in Dallas and how long is organization may be in the area. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel

The Portsmouth, Virginia-based Mercy Chefs have responded to the biggest emergency need they say they have ever seen, and are heading to Dallas to help winter storm victims.

WVEC-TV reports the CEO of the faith-based non-profit Gary LeBlanc said they've received 20 requests for help between Dallas, Texas, and Oklahoma since Tuesday night -- and the messages requesting help keep pouring in. 

On Thursday, one of the non-profit's disaster relief teams was headed to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to provide hot meals and clean water at warming stations.

"This snowstorm and ice storm has caught us and everybody in America a little bit by surprise," LeBlanc said. "It is affecting so many people over such a wide area. Mercy Chefs has never seen anything quite this big."

The Mercy Chefs relief team posted, "We are heading to Dallas to respond to one of the largest disasters we've ever seen. The need is unbelievable, and we will do everything we can to help. Keep our team in your prayers! Be sure to keep an eye on our socials for more updates." 

Mercy Chefs teams were also responding to the desperate need in Oklahoma and Arkansas, where another winter storm struck.  

The disaster relief teams reached out to local partners and churches to help. The Cedar Point Church in Claremore, OK, was one of the local churches that responded to their request. 

Pastor Rick Burke of Claremore, Oklahoma's Cedar Point Church noted in a Facebook post that the organization had called them to help distribute supplies, but wondered how many people would show up to help. 

"So Friday we got a call from Mercy Chefs and Light of Hope. They had gotten access to an unexpected 600 boxes of food, plus gallons of milk. We all knew it would be bitterly cold the next day, but we also knew that there had been a run on groceries (especially milk) at the grocery stores and there was a great need," Burke wrote. 

"So we said sure, we will hand it out at our parking lot, how could we not. We had less than 24 hours to get 10 people to come out for two hours in subzero wind chill factor. We posted a request on Facebook and we didn't get 10 people, we got 40. My heart was more moved than you could ever know as I watched these people in miserable conditions serve and be good to people just because it was needed. Here's a pic with some of the 40," he continued. 

The Mercy Chefs organization has also sent a team to North Carolina where a deadly tornado touched down in the beach community of Ocean Ridge Plantation, earlier this week. Three people were killed and 10 others injured when the rare winter tornado ripped through the coastal area located about 45 miles south of Wilmington. 

CBN's Operation Blessing is also helping those in need in Texas.  Operation Blessing is working with partners to deliver bottled water, blankets, and other relief supplies to folks in Dallas and Cleveland.

If you would like to help send disaster relief supplies to your neighbors, visit for more information.

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of