Operation BBQ Relief provides hot meals to Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee communities

Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 6:24 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Operation BBQ Relief volunteers are serving hot meals to first responders and community members after deadly tornadoes ripped across the South, Midwest and stretched to the Northeast.

Operation BBQ Relief volunteers from Kansas City and around the country can mobilize immediately following a natural disaster to offer comforting meals. Volunteers provided more than 7,000 meals in Mississippi.

They are now providing meals for communities impacted by tornadoes in Arkansas and Tennessee. “We’ve set up in Wynne, AR with what we call a level two deployment there,” Chief Growth Officer Operation BBQ Relief Bryan Haupt said. “We see a mass feeding that’s going to be needed there and we’re also set up in Covington, Tennessee.”

A network of 15,000 volunteers from the Kansas City metro and around the country can bring a caravan of mobile BBQ pits, cooks, volunteers, and kitchens to areas following a natural disaster.

“The fun, friendship and family that you have in a backyard barbecue, we’re trying to do that same thing out in those areas that have been impacted,” Haupt said. “We call it, ‘the hot meal that matters.’ When you hand a hot meal to somebody that has been impacted by these deadly storms, it surely touches their heart. There are often tears that come into their eyes and a hug that’s needed most importantly.”

The non-profit formed in May 2011 in response to the devastating and deadly Joplin tornado. Since then, Operation BBQ Relief has provided more than 10 million meals throughout the United States and internationally.

“We live by the charity and graciousness of other people’s hearts,” Haupt said. “Unfortunately storms just continue to come and I just reach out to the generosity of the folks in the Kansas City area to help us continue our mission.”

For more information on how to volunteer or donate visit: https://operationbbqrelief.org/