Mercy Chefs feed families throughout the summer

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - This summer, many kids will go to vacation bible schools, sports camps, and do many more fun activities.

Mercy Chefs is providing meals to children and families in need this summer. (WJHG/WECP)

But when some kids go home, there won't be food on the table...that's where Mercy Chefs come in.

While school is out, they are stepping in to give kids and their families a place to go and get a free hot meal.

"First we feed them, then we go around and talk to them and kind of socialize with them, and then we have a table in the back where the kids can go and draw and color and just play and have a good time," said Donna Shipes, a retired teacher who's volunteering.

Mercy Chefs is a nonprofit that steps in after natural disasters to provide meals to the community.

"We're motivated to keep coming into this community and pour into it what we possibly can, because we see that the need is just really big here," said Lisa Saylor, a chef with the organization.

Mercy Chefs also provide meals and housing for volunteer groups that are here to help with recovery efforts.

"It enables us to be able to do that, whereas if we had to go somewhere and pay a whole bunch of money, it just wouldn't be possible for us to come down and do the things we're doing," said Scott Burnette, the Children's and Youth Director for First United Methodist Church.

One school bus driver says this is important because he sees many kids go without a meal.

"Some folks don't have a place to eat, some folks don't have a place to lay their heads, this is a blessing to be able to come here and have something, a hot meal for the kids," said Arthur Mack, a school bus driver.

Mercy Chefs will be at Oscar Patterson Elementary School Tuesdays through Sundays, from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., until August 15.

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