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Operation BBQ Relief responds to Hurricane Sandy devastation

NEW YORK -- Nonprofit organization Operation BBQ Relief has been hard at work the past few days cooking and serving barbecue meals to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The organization has been stationed in several locations in New York and New Jersey, the states hit hardest by the storm. In addition to preparing and serving meals to first responders and storm victims, the group has been recruiting volunteers and collecting donations.

Operation BBQ Relief was founded in May 2011 after an EF5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., killing more than 140 people and leaving a six-mile-long path of destruction. Competition barbecue teams from eight states gathered in Joplin to feed emergency personnel and displaced residents, serving more than 120,000 meals in less than two weeks.

The group arrived in New York and New Jersey on Friday, mere days after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast and Northeast. In the U.S., the storm left structures damaged, millions without power and at least 110 people dead.

Operation BBQ Relief has been posting regular updates on its Facebook page, including this report of its work on Sunday:

"Day 3 Update: Operation BBQ Relief continues to do what we do best -- feed the people in need -- because of our fantastic volunteers and donations from almost 40 states and two countries! Today, we served meals out of Hoboken, Manhattan and Neptune. After the smoke cleared, OBR's output today was 10,500 meals! Thanks to all of those donating, our operation total so far in just three days is 23,700 hot meals. [Monday], the Manhattan location will be moved to Coney Island. We should have some additional high volume smokers arriving and from Brooklyn, should be able to distribute food to several locations. At [sic] for now, Neptune and Hoboken will remain. Thank you all again for your support!"

To learn more about Operation BBQ Relief or to make a tax deductible donation, visit A volunteer schedule is available here. Questions should be directed to

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