Operation BBQ Relief returns to Lake Charles after Hurricane Delta

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 10:11 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Many national organizations are, once again, working to bring relief to Southwest Louisiana.

Operation BBQ Relief is now in round two of providing hot meals to the people of Southwest Louisiana.

It started back in 2011 after a devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri, when competitive pitmasters from eight states decided to use their culinary skills to provide aid to areas hit by natural disasters.

Now, truck loads of meat and vegetables are being brought into Lake Charles as volunteers from several states serve meals to hurricane survivors.

“We’ll partner with different groups like the salvation army, local churches, people from neighborhoods,” said Will Cleaver, with Operation BBQ Relief. "We try to do them in like a family pack or a meal that will feed 50 people.”

So far, the nonprofit has served almost 400,000 meals to the Lake area and is planning on serving 10,000 meals a day.

Cleaver says they continue to serve, although with a limited volunteer staff.

"This year has been very tough, not only from a volunteer perspective, but it’s strained the organization. By that i mean, over the last two months, we’ve been in four different disasters. Coming through covid and dealing with the covid protocols and masks and the heat and all that and then going to back-to-back deployments, it’s definitely been a strain.”

Although not from this area, Cleaver says he is very glad to be able to help the Southwest Louisiana community.

"It always feels good to help somebody, no matter what it is. It’s a hot meal and it has a lot of value to people. If we can help them with one percent with the 99 percent of stuff they’re going through, we’ll keep doing as much as we can for as long as we can.”

If you are interested in donating to or volunteering for Operation BBQ relief, you can visit operationbbqrelief.org.

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