Barbecues generally come with good memories, most often in summer and warm sunshine, sometimes with badminton games or swimming, but always with something nice. But that’s not the kind of barbecue Operation BBQ Relief is about.
Operation BBQ Relief makes great memories around barbecues, but not just in summer, and certainly not including badminton, swimming, or relaxation in the sun. Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that jumps into gear when disaster strikes by providing hot meals to those affected and the first responders on the ground.
Operation BBQ Relief was founded in 2011 after the EF5 tornado in Joplin, MO. They have a network of equipment and people throughout the country who quickly respond to serve hot meals within hours of a disaster. The local civic groups and first responders within the affected communities connect with Operation BBQ Relief to get things ready to serve good food to those in need. Since inception, Operation BBQ Relief has served well over nine million hot meals.
David Rosen, an ACC New Jersey Chapter member, is the general counsel for Operation BBQ Relief. He was a political science major at Penn State and graduated from New York Law School.
He then became an associate with Sullivan & Cromwell. From there, Rosen went on to become the owner and GC of Rose Trading Corp, and then the president and GC of Ubons Sauce LLC. Rosen joined Operation BBQ Relief in 2018, first as director, and now as CLO and GC.
Rosen is hyperaware of just how many people became food insecure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It affected everyone from the homeless, to those of low income, to children no longer able to receive free breakfast and lunch at school. While many are unsure how to tackle such a problem, Rosen and his team took up the task.
Over the last year, Operation BBQ Relief served more than five million meals across the United States. They launched Operation Restaurant Relief to support hotels and restaurants that either were struggling to stay open or had already been forced to close. Through small stipends, necessary supplies, and collaboration with other organizations, Operation Restaurant Relief has helped these restaurants and hotels rehire previously laid-off staff and provide free meals in their communities.
Additionally, the nonprofit’s Always Serving Project has provided meals to frontline workers at mass vaccination clinics, homeless veterans, and is launching a virtual cooking segment.
Operation BBQ Relief serves meals in Houston, TX.
Operation BBQ Relief did all this while creating and implementing their own COVID-19 compliance program and continuing to provide meals after other disasters. In February 2021, when much of Texas was impacted by a severe winter storm, Operation BBQ Relief set up shop in Houston.
Springing into action to help millions across the country has led Rosen to approach his work with the mantra “This is not a dress rehearsal.” Every operation has a real impact and requires full effort and commitment. No matter the disaster, Operation BBQ Relief will be there to help with a hot meal, served with a side of hope.