Hurricane Florence relief to include beloved BBQ

A Missouri-based organization is bringing a North Carolina staple to areas trying to recover from Florence.

Operation BBQ Relief said in a statement Tuesday that it had deployed its group of barbecue enthusiasts to Wilmington and Fayetteville to support recovery efforts by providing hot meals to displaced residents and first responders.

The organization said the Wilmington and Fayetteville deployment locations are capable of producing up to 50,000 meals per day.

Currently about 100 volunteers are serving pulled pork, pork loin sandwiches, vegetables, rolls, buns, green beans, corn and baked beans.

It has not been an easy task.

David Marks, chief marketing officer for Operation BBQ Relief, told Fox News about the conditions of the relief effort: “No power, everyone is searching for ice, people sleeping in cars at gas stations waiting for gas to arrive, and they have been at those pumps for at least four days at this point.”

The organization was established in 2011 following a devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo.

Marks told the Greenville News that the nonprofit formed out of a shared desire to work toward a common good. “We compete against each other and the competition is fierce, but the brotherhood among competitive barbecuers is really tight and everybody will help each other,” Marks said after arriving in Wilmington on Monday afternoon. “And this is really just an extension of that.”

The organization has deployed in response to natural disasters including severe flooding in South Carolina in 2016, and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.