Operation Barbecue Relief gears up to help Floridians - KCTV5

Operation Barbecue Relief gears up to help Floridians

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(Nathan Vickers/KCTV) (Nathan Vickers/KCTV)

One much-needed item in regions devastated by hurricanes is the comfort of a hot meal, which is something one local organization can definitely provide.

On Friday, Stan Hays took an inventory of spices, cooking pans, and his smokers.

Hays is the co-founder of Operation Barbecue Relief and, after a week of offering meals in Houston, he was preparing for another trip to help relief efforts in Florida.

“It feels a little like ‘Groundhog Day,’” he said.

The local nonprofit will position themselves in Louisiana until the storm passes.

“The last thing we want to do is put our volunteers in harm’s way,” he said. “We could probably get a little closer, but we'll still be in a good position and we have the facilities there.”

Will Cleaver, the organization's other founder, was still in Houston. He said they plan to leave a few volunteers in the Houston area as they prepare for new challenges on the East Coast.

“It's difficult,” Cleaver said. “You see we have all these great volunteers. The need for meals is starting to drop.”

The band of benevolent barbecuers is growing. Government and nonprofit organizations in Florida are starting to collaborate with them and Hays said that is helping them make the transition.

“When you have the resources behind you, it makes it easier to go in there and be able to set up,” Hays said.

Operation Barbecue Relief said they need financial and volunteer assistance to help gather and pack up supplies.

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