Operation BBQ Relief was founded in May 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri, a community of about 50,000 residents. Competition barbecue teams from eight states answered the call to help feed displaced families and emergency personnel. The group was able to serve over 120,000 meals over 11 days. Food was delivered to shelters, hospitals, senior living communities and the Humane Society. Volunteers loaded food into vehicles and delivered directly to families in the impacted areas. The operation was made possible by all who contributed food and supplies and funding from across the country.