Breaking News
More () »

Volunteers cater 1,700 meals for single moms for annual Mother's Day banquet in Hampton Roads

The free meals went to single moms, widows and mothers whose husbands are deployed.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Volunteers spent their Sunday morning cooking a very special Mother’s Day brunch.

Mercy Chefs is serving 1,700 meals this weekend for single moms in Hampton Roads, and their kids.

“Widows that are in nursing homes, moms that are raising children by themselves, the military moms whose husbands are deployed," Founder & President of Mercy Chefs Gary LeBlanc said.

They’re partnering with Joy Ministries for the initiative.

Joy Ministries has hosted a Mother’s Day banquet for single moms for the past 20 years - but had to do things a little differently this year.

“They usually have a large banquet, but this year with the coronavirus they’ve had to change things up and they asked if we would help with meals, Mercy Chefs was glad to do that,” LeBlanc explained.

So Mercy Chefs is whipping up lunch in to-go boxes for Joy Ministries to deliver to moms.

LeBlanc said today’s effort is just one of several they’ve done during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been doing things that we’ve never done before, we’ve had to adjust our methods and it is very draining on the staff," he said. "The crew here with Mercy Chefs is incredible and for them to take Mother’s Day weekend to come and do this, is even more special.”

They’ve fed nearly 100,000 people in Hampton Roads and almost 275,000 people across the country.

"Our motivation is just to see the look on people’s face when they open that box, not really knowing what’s going to be in there and not really having some high, high expectation," LeBlanc said. 

"To see them look at the food that we’ve been able to prepare and go, ‘Wow, this is special. This is special.’”

RELATED: Mother's Day this year means getting creative from afar

RELATED: Mother's Day during the COVID-19 pandemic

RELATED: Lowe's donating $1 million worth of flower baskets to mothers isolated in senior housing facilities

Before You Leave, Check This Out