Joplin Tornado Victims Get Taste Of Oklahoma Barbecue

Thursday, June 9th 2011, 5:35 pm
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Some Oklahoma barbecue and a big helping of generosity are on their way to tornado victims.

A new Oklahoma charity called and several Oklahoma businesses are teaming up to help tornado victims and volunteers in Joplin.

"We've got enough bread here to make 5,000 sandwiches," Jim Kirkland, who owns Duke's BBQ & Catering, said.

The world is a better place with guys like Jim Kirkland. He's on quite a mission, an idea that came about after the devastation in Joplin.

"Do what you're good at, and we're good at barbecue," he said.

Kirkland has a barbecue business in Texhoma, a small town in the Oklahoma panhandle. He's on a 530 mile road trip to feed tornado victims and volunteers in Joplin.

"We want to make sure that they know people love them," he said.

Several Oklahoma companies want those storm victims to know it too. On his journey to Joplin, he's picking up more than $10,000 worth of donated supplies.

First, Seaboard Foods, a pork processor in Guymon, donated 1,300 pounds of meat. Then in Ponca City, head country contributed 30 cases, or 120 gallons of barbecue sauce.

"It's just a great feeling to be involved," Paul Schatte, Head Country

Cookshack in Ponca City, which manufactures pellet fired smokers, donated 600 pounds of smoker pellets and gas money.

"To be able to help out with it is just a real blessing for our company," Stuart Powell said.

Then, with only a couple days notice, Tulsa's Bimbo bread donated enough bread for those 5,000 sandwiches.

"It's phenomenal the outpouring from our Oklahoma companies," Kirkland said.

Now, with a trailer loaded full of supplies, and a heart full of a desire to help others, Kirkland has everything he needs for a great barbecue and everything he needs to make a meaningful meal for those who need a helping hand.

"It's a great thing and we're all just coming together to help our fellow Americans," he said. "It makes you proud to be an Oklahoman."

Kirkland will be in Joplin through Sunday serving up those barbecue sandwiches to storm victims and volunteers.