RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Many victims of hurricane Harvey have been left with nothing but the clothes on their back. That’s why one organization called Operation BBQ Relief is working to provide something as simple as a hot meal to people in Houston.
Getting there and getting it done is taking a lot of help from people right here at home.
Each box loaded into Jon Hansel’s truck is assurance that he’ll feed as many people as possible during his seven days in Texas.
“We’re going to cook everything we can and it will all be wonderful,” said Hansel.
Hansel’s day job has nothing to do with cooking. In his spare time he’s a pit master for competition and charity.
“When you hand somebody a plate of food and you see it in their eyes that this is something important to them,” said Hansel.
He’s one of many cooks from around the country being sent by Operation BBQ Relief to feed people in Texas. Until Thursday afternoon he will be picking up donations for his barbecue creations.
“There’s a lot of people that are doing a lot to help the victims out there, and this is the way we felt that we could,” said Vaughn Ford, Vice President of Ford’s Produce and Gourmet Foods.
Vaughn and his brother Patrick helped Hansel load up a donation of their signature Bone Suckin’-brand sauces and rubs for the food he’ll be cooking. They also packed up some bottles of water and other food items that will come in handy.
“Right now, I think having dry clothes is something they don’t have right now. So I think a good meal will definitely help change the way they’re feeling with what’s going on. It helps you to get through something if at least you’re not hungry to start the day,” said Patrick Ford.
When Hansel gets to Houston Friday, he and his pit partner will start cooking, turning out more than 1,200 pounds of smoked meat a day.
“My barbecue rig back here has three smokers on it, and I have the capacity to produce about 4,000 plates of barbecue each day,” said Hansel.
He knows Texans take their barbecue seriously, and hopes what he has to offer will make their day a little better.
“They don’t need a clean pair of socks right now, they need food,” said Hansel.
You can help Hansel feed people in Houston by donating to Operation BBQ Relief here. You can also text “donateobr” to 41444. Hansel says every dollar donated is a plate of food for people who need it.