LENEXA, Kan. — Lenexa, Kansas based Sims Global will become the latest in a growing list of Kansas City Metro businesses and organizations to ship supplies to areas of Florida ravaged by Hurricane Ian Tuesday.

“We have the network we have the trucks we have the warehouse here in Lenexa and we just felt this is a way to give back,” Ted Sims, CEO, Sims Global, said.

Destined for Florida Southwestern State College pallets of water, baby wipes, diapers, formula, toilet paper and paper towels are ready to hit the road, thanks to donations from KC Metro business leaders.

“I think it’s just KC and the Midwestern values people want to help out and its tremendous the outpouring of support,” Sims said.

Operation BBQ Relief is already stationed in a parking lot in Port Charlotte, Florida. They bring their own bunk trunks and washing stations along with big rigs hauling smokers.

But the Kansas City non- profit that’s been responding to disasters since the Joplin tornado says Hurricane Ian’s Aftermath has had extra challenges.

“Friday when we rolled into this parking lot it was partially under water still,” Stan Hays, CEO, Operation BBQ Relief, said.

Getting to victims up and down the coast on damaged roads is not easy either. So thousands of the 25,000 prepared Monday were loaded up on planes for short flights.

They are also are setting up everywhere where victims are coming for help. Whether they are meeting with FEMA, insurance adjusters, or to pick up ice or water the Kansas City-based volunteers are waiting with a hot meal.

“I hand a young couple four meals and the mom is sitting there in the car with the kids and she’s like’ this is our first hot meal since it came through we just heard about it today.’ She couldn’t thank us enough and I was just sitting there thinking when someone is thanking you for a pulled pork sandwich when you know they are probably having one of the worst weeks of their life,” Hays said.

Operation BBQ Relief says they have the meat for 60,000 meals a day for the next month, but right now they are about 100 volunteers short of what they need to help prepare and serve.

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