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Operation BBQ Relief Celebrates 8 Millionth Meal

Governor Kim Reynolds presented the 8 Millionth Meal to Pam Hinman. Pam is a long-time resident of Cedar Rapids. Even though Pam has been without electricity since the derecho, she has been a resource for Operation BBQ Relief on the ground as an active volunteer.

Operation BBQ Relief provided over 70,000 meals to families and first responders affected by the derecho.

Disaster relief nonprofit joins Iowa leadership and supporters to commemorate milestone of meals served to those in need and first responders

Powered by outstanding volunteers, quality products from across Iowa and the entire country, Operation BBQ Relief is providing meals to Iowans in need.”
— Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, UNITED STATES, August 26, 2020 / -- Operation BBQ Relief, a nonprofit disaster relief organization that supports communities by feeding displaced residents and first responders heartwarming barbeque meals, has reached a milestone of serving their 8 millionth meal.

Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in May 2011 in response to a need for tornado relief efforts in Joplin, MO. Competitive pitmasters from eight different states answered the call to feed displaced families and first responders. Together they served over 120,000 meals in a thirteen-day period following the Joplin tornado. This experience of building a network to feed individuals in need has been the inspiration for Operation BBQ Relief.

Operation BBQ Relief is currently on their 68th deployment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Since August 16, 2020 they have been providing hot, BBQ meals to those affected by the midwest derecho that hit the area earlier this month. While in Cedar Rapids, Operation BBQ Relief has served upwards of 10,000 meals each day to families, first responders, and disaster relief volunteers. Operation BBQ Relief has served over 70,000 meals during the deployment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Julie Kenney and Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart joined Dewayne Daniel, Director of Disaster Coordination for Operation BBQ Relief to observe Operation BBQ Relief’s donation of their 8 Millionth meal on Friday, August 21.

"I want to thank Operation BBQ Relief for providing over hot meals to communities affected by the derecho," said Gov. Reynolds. "With so many still without electricity, it is amazing to see the power of a hot, delicious meal at work. I am honored to be here today to support Operation BBQ Relief in person and help share their incredible food with people in need."

West Liberty Foods donated 5,000 turkey tenderloins to Operation BBQ Relief that were grilled and served for free. This donation served around 10,000 Iowans in need of a good, hot, fresh meal.

Ron Kardel, Vice chairman of the board for West Liberty Foods and turkey farmer from Walcott and Gretta Irwin, Executive Director of the Iowa Turkey Federation were on hand at the event.

“West Liberty Foods and our turkey farmers are proud to donate locally raised turkey to our friends and neighbors in Cedar Rapids during their time of need. As family farmers, we know the importance of a good, hot meal, and we know turkey is perfect on the grill for a family of three or 10,000 friends,” stated Kardel.

Irwin agreed that lean turkey is a versatile, excellent protein choice for families. “When Operation BBQ Relief sent out the call for ’a little help’ sourcing quick cooking proteins, West Liberty Foods and the Iowa Turkey Federation were happy to respond with turkey tenderloins," stated Irwin. “The lean turkey breast meat is easy to prepare, especially on a grill, and Iowa’s turkey farmers are proud to be able to support their neighbors in need.”

"Powered by outstanding volunteers, quality products from across Iowa and the entire country, Operation BBQ Relief is providing meals to Iowans in need. Thank you for being here and congratulations on 8 million meals served!" stated Governor Kim Reynolds.

To be ready to assist when needed, the organization continually monitors severe weather conditions. Operation BBQ Relief is prepared to deploy in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.

As a non-profit disaster relief organization, Operation BBQ Relief relies on corporate, civic, and personal contributions to ensure their efforts continue. Those interested in donating and volunteering can do so at

Sharon Green
Operation BBQ Relief
+1 574-214-7959
email us here