RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia-based nonprofit Mercy Chefs has brought a community kitchen to Richmond, with the goal of providing nutritionally rich meals to food-insecure individuals.

Mercy Chefs plans to work with after-school programs, churches and other partners to provide meals and resources to individuals through cooking classes and information on how to utilize SNAP benefits while creating healthy and delicious meals.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Tuesday, Oct. 17, celebrating the official kitchen opening.

“We long have wanted to expand our community kitchen model into Richmond, and the space being available at The Kitchens at Reynolds provided a perfect opportunity for us to enter the area,” said Raymond LeBlanc, community engagement liaison for Mercy Chefs. “We’re connecting with local partners to reach Richmond residents facing food insecurity, particularly in Richmond’s East End and Petersburg, where we recently did a grocery box distribution.”

In addition to the Richmond location, Mercy Chefs has community kitchens in Portsmouth, Dallas, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. The nonprofit has more kitchens set to open this year, including one in Maui to assist the community following the deadly wildfires in Lahaina.

The organization was founded in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Since then, Mercy Chefs has served 25 million meals.