WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Running a restaurant is much more than seasoning dishes and chopping vegetables.

It’s a constant, all-day rush that doesn’t leave time for much else.

Vagabond Kitchen owner Matt Welsch says he was in the middle of that culinary grind when a fellow West Virginia chef reached out to him about Kentucky’s ongoing natural disaster.

“He said ‘man, it’s really horrible what’s going on down there, I feel like we need to help.'”

Matt Welsch, Owner and Executive Chef, Vagabond Kitchen

Flash flooding in the Bluegrass State has killed 25 people in just the last two days—and rescue efforts are far from over.

That’s why Welsch and Morgantown restaurant owner Marion Ohlinger are rallying the statewide West Virginia Cooks group to put boots on the ground.

They’ll be making the drive Monday morning from Parkersburg together with Welsch’s catering van packed with donated food and water.

Help folks out, bring down supplies, cook if need be, we’ll mule supplies back and forth, split wood, muck out barns, whatever needs to happen.

Matt Welsch, Owner and Executive Chef, Vagabond Kitchen

And that’s where you come in.

Here’s a quick list of donations they’re looking for, and it’s not all just edible items:

  • Canned goods
  • Baby formula and food
  • Water
  • Apples and oranges
  • Toilet paper
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt, pepper and spices
  • Fig bars
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Pet food
  • Wet wipes
  • Disposable gloves

He says they’ll take anything you would need if you were camping and had no access to electricity or running water.

Even cooking oil, salt and pepper will be necessary if they fire up the oven for a taste of Wheeling.

I imagine a lot of people are donating pasta and rice and things like that, and it’s going to be really bland unless we have something to spice it up with.

Matt Welsch, Owner and Executive Chef, Vagabond Kitchen

They’ve already raised $5,000 in donations through PayPal, and whatever isn’t spent on travel and supplies will be given to a relief fund.

Welsch says it’s the first time the group has done outreach.

It’s a rare opportunity for us to be able to give back in a way that we normally might not be able to because of business.

Matt Welsch, Owner and Executive Chef, Vagabond Kitchen

He wants to remind people that life doesn’t have to just scroll down your news feed—you can always take it into your own hands.

People seem to feel so powerless these days. They’ll share something on social media and they’ll kind of scratch that itch of helping things out, but you can help out in so many different ways.

Matt Welsch, Owner and Executive Chef, Vagabond Kitchen

Welsch describes his work at Vagabond Kitchen as Appalachian comfort food.

And with this trip West Virginia Cooks have a message for the people of Kentucky—Appalachian comfort is on the way.

Vagabond Kitchen will open their doors after Sunday brunch tomorrow for supplies from 4 to 7—and you can also donate money through PayPal at chef@thevagabondkitchen.com.