For the Love of Barbecue & Disaster-Stricken Communities

BBQ’s are synonymous with hot summer nights, wholesome food, good friends and family and we’ve learned about one organization that unexpectedly translated those good feelings and love of the grill into a year-round charity called Operation BBQ Relief

Eight years in and they have grilled up almost 3 million meals in 60 disaster-stricken areas across 26 states. Plus, they have compiled a seriously incredible cookbook with their recipes.

Grill masters Stan Hays and Jeff Stith have brought the comfort of BBQ to the streets with Operation BBQ Relief. Triggered by the devastation of a tornado that touched down in Joplin, Missouri, they put a call to action out on social media for all able-bodied grillers. They rolled into town with their grills and served comfort food hot off the grill to a community in chaos.

Operation BBQ Relief is now a traveling band of grill masters that move cross country. They touch down when a natural disaster has devastated an area and there is a desperation for hot meals.

Hays told that, “Barbecue is comfort food. It reminds people of good times with friends and family, and gives them hope for those good times again.” He went on to say, “… many of the disaster survivors he serves haven’t had a warm meal in days.”

Hays has lovingly created a cookbook filled with moving stories and recipes to inspire those at home to create comforting, fulfilling food that doesn’t have to break the bank. He also has created The Always Serving Project that visits communities where chronic hunger is a daily reality.

If you’re looking for feel good BBQ inspiration this summer, check out Hays book: Operation BBQ: 200 Smokin’ Recipes from Competition Grand Champions. And if you fancy yourself a grill master looking to get involved, visit Operation BBQ Relief to see how you could go a bit beyond the grill.