PECULIAR, Mo. — Operation BBQ Relief is doing what it does best: cooking. This time, the organization is serving the people of Maui.
“Just think about leaving your home for the last time and coming back and finding it on the ground in ash,” said Stan Hays, co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief.
Hays said the reality for Lahaina is devastating.
“They need everything ... [like] finding living accommodations because that house isn’t going to get rebuilt in the next year — there’s not enough contractors around, there's not enough supplies around to even start rebuilding houses,” he said. "There still hasn't been a video or a picture that I've seen that truly tells how bad it was.”
Shortly after the wildfires tore through the island, Hays and his team packed up and got to work.
“To be able to provide hot barbecue but maybe with a Hawaiian flare. In many ways, we did,” Hays said.
Partnering with local restaurants in Maui, Hays and Operation BBQ Relief whipped up thousands of meals in more than two weeks.
"Once you started talking to the people, you see the same resiliency as you see [in] people on the mainland. At the end of the day, people are people,” he said.
One plate at a time, Hays said it's important to give back to those in need.
“They also want to know that people are thinking of them, that people are caring for them and that they are not forgotten,” Hays said.