Joplin, Missouri (Tornado) / 120,000 Meals Over 11 Days

May 22, 2011 | Deployments

On May 22, 2011, a massive multi-vortex E5 tornado plowed through southwest Missouri. 156 people were killed and more than 1,000 people were injured. The tornado left a path of almost total destruction six miles long and over half a mile wide. It is now classified as the second deadliest tornado in U.S. history. In the wake of this nearly unprecedented destruction, competition BBQ teams from eight states answered the call to help feed displaced families and emergency personnel. The group, headed by Stan Hays (County Line Smokers), Jeff Stith (Big Creek BBQ), and Will Cleaver (Sticks N Chicks BBQ) was able to serve BBQ meals during the operation in Joplin. Food was served and delivered to shelters, hospitals, senior living communities, and the Humane Society. Volunteers also delivered meals directly to families in the impacted areas within the tornado’s footprint. The operation was made possible by many businesses who contributed food and supplies and donors from across the country. As a result of efforts in Joplin, Operation BBQ Relief was born.

Aaron Black, Andrew Korbesmeyer, Anna, Mark & Brad Sturdefant, April Hepko, Barbara Whitlock, Beth Bigby, Beth Karriker, Bryan McLarty, Buffie Brinkerhoff, Chet Anderson, Chip Caraway, Chris Early, Chris Mueller, Chrissy Schmidt, Craig & Patty Kidwell,Dan Duncan, Darin Cram, Dave Elliott, Dionn & Gary Lanton, Elizabeth Kratochvil, Eric Westervelt, Frank Cox, Frank Schaffer, Gary & Gerry Benham, Greg & Kristi Powers, Heather Johns, Heather Keith, Jack Karriker, Jake Early, Jana Early, Jason Summers, Jeff Hughes, Jeff Johnson, Jeff Pickman, Jeff, Tammy & Taylor Stith, Jerry Shipe, Jim Altic, Jim Knepper, Jim Rhino, Jim Sturm, Jim & Jerri Bigby, John Buschmann, John Hochscheid, Jon Orr, Jon Stinson, Jon Tupper, Judy Thompson, Justin Ayers, Kathryn Coltrin, Kathy Waller, Kay Brewster, Kaylin Groneman, Kelly Cain, Kimberly Groneman, Kurt Schwab, Larry & Joyce Mickels, Lauren Groneman, Lee Keith, Lee Thompson, Lon Campbell, Lori Graham, Lynda Johnson, Mandy Johnson, Manuel & Dawn Pruneda, Marc Matthews, Mark Ribblett, Mark & Haley Zimmerman, Mathew Amezaga, Michael Curry, Michael Trump, Michelle Higgins, Mike Espey, Nick Early, Nicole & Chad Backermam, Randall & Andrea Heimgartner, Rhonda Ray, Richard Allen, Rick Sage, Robert Kee, Robert (Ed) Taylor, Robert Lee Johnson, Rodney Cramer, Samuel Kratochvil, Sandy Meinders, Scott Seal, Shane Petzold, Sherry Cramer, Stan Hays, Stel Steller, Steve Stealey, Susan Kratochvil, Taylor Johnson, Terry Kratochvil, Tim Bert, Tim Gray, Todd Johns, Troy Enke, Valerie Wilson, Vern Guilford, Walt Coltrin, Will Cleaver.

Corporate Support:
Sam’s Club, OK Foods, Stubbs BBQ, Farmers Insurance, Taylor Farms Smokehouse, Tyson Foods, Hostess, Dolly Madison, BBQr’s Delight, Pepsi, Target, Head Country, Kosmo’s BBQ, Butcher BBQ, Plowboys BBQ,, Ott’s, Smoky Mountain Smokers, Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, Smoke Me BBQ Wood, McCormick Distillery, Bandana’s BBQ, Royal Oak, Kookers Kare, Great Lakes BBQ Association, the employees of Joplin Golden Corral and the employees of Carthage Lowe’s. In addition, many people from across the United States sent donations to help make this mobilization possible.


Join the #iamOBR movement with a tax deductible monthly contribution where you can select donation options to help support Operation BBQ Relief.


Operation BBQ Relief relies solely on volunteers like you. Whether you are a competition BBQ team, caterer, restaurateur or simply an individual or group wanting to help when disaster strikes, we want you to be a part of this rewarding experience in helping people.