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Operation BBQ Relief serves meals to storm-ravaged communities

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 5:09 PM CST
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HOPKINS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - One organization is making sure no one goes hungry over the holidays in western Kentucky.

Operation BBQ Relief started 11 years ago when a tornado struck the town of Joplin, Missouri. In the immediate aftermath, a group of competitive barbecue teams came together to cook for the community.

Over a decade later, the organization was in downtown Dawson Springs, Mayfield and Bowling Green to help out during their time of need. Volunteers say they try and find the communities that need help the most, so they are constantly moving locations to meet those needs.

“It’s just that one meal that touches your heart,” volunteer Bryan Haupt said. “You don’t realize when you hand a hot meal to somebody what it might mean to them. It’s not necessarily the meal itself, but just that act of giving and kindness. To where I had a lady last week that we hugged and cried for a good 5-10 minutes, so it just touches your heart and that’s why we are here.”

Volunteers said they will be serving food until the second week of January, but will continue to cook as long as the need is there. On Christmas Day, the group will be serving dinner and handing out toys at Trace Creek Baptist Church in Mayfield.

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