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Operation BBQ Relief

On Sunday evening, May 22, 2011 a massive multi-vortex EF5 tornado plowed through a southwest Missouri community of about 50,000 residents, killing over 140 people and injuring more than 1000. It left a path of almost total destruction six miles long and over half a mile wide and is now classified as the second deadliest tornado in U.S. history.

In the wake of this nearly unprecedented destruction, competition barbecue teams from eight states answered the call to help feed displaced families and emergency personnel including police, fire, and the National Guard. The group was able to serve over 120,000 barbecue meals in less than two weeks; food was delivered to shelters, hospitals, senior living communities and the Humane Society. Volunteers also loaded food into vehicles and delivered directly to families in the impacted areas within the tornado’s footprint.

As a result of efforts in Joplin, Operation BBQ Relief was born. The Joplin operation has been used as a model for future disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods and other tornados. Operation BBQ Relief is a not-for-profit corporation registered in all fifty states and ready to respond to natural disaster emergencies across the United States.

To learn more about Operation BBQ Relief, click here