PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from September 16, 2021.
"A lot of the folks we talked to feel forgotten," Mercy Chefs founder Gary LeBlanc said.
Hurricane Ida left a big scar on parts of Louisiana. Volunteers with Mercy Chefs traveled to Louisiana in September to serve meals after the hurricane swept through. Nearly three months later, LeBlanc says some people are still patching up damage.
"We talk to kids all the time and they just share, you know when it rains outside, it rains inside my home too," LeBlanc said. "The trauma, the effect on children and everyone down here is just incredible."
Mercy Chefs in Portsmouth returned over the weekend to check up on those victims and bring them a hot meal. They started serving food Saturday and will continue until Thanksgiving Day. They'll return to Hampton Roads having distributed 7,500 meals.
"We're feeding some of the same folks that we fed back right after the hurricane," he said. "So Mercy Chefs is really trying to get out into the lower River Parishes that have seen almost no relief since the storm."
To help make this holiday special, families are also receiving groceries and pre-made meals to serve on Thanksgiving Day.
"And it just reminds them that they have not been forgotten and that they can have hope that a brighter future is coming," LeBlanc said.