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This Kansas City nonprofit is serving free barbecue to Maui wildfire survivors

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Patrick Cieslewiitz
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Operation BBQ Relief
Kansas City-based Operation BBQ Relief arrived in Hawaii last week to help with wildfire relief.

Since deploying to Maui, Hawaii, Kansas City-based Operation BBQ Relief has served more than 20,500 free, hot meals to relief workers, first responders and survivors impacted by the island's deadly wildfires.

Earlier this month, Operation BBQ Relief, a Kansas City-based nonprofit that serves free barbecue to communities impacted by natural disasters, deployed to Maui, Hawaii, where wildfires have claimed the lives of 115 people and destroyed large swaths of the island.

Stan Hays, co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief, told KCUR's Up To Date that their goal is to provide a sense of solace through food.

"Barbecue's comfort food, and in somebody's worst time of need, they need that comforting, they need that sort of family and the hug, and barbecue can give that," he said.

According to an Operation BBQ Relief spokesperson, volunteers have served about 20,500 hot meals since arriving in Maui on August 13.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
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