SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As many people return home following Hurricane Ida, some Springfield businesses recognize getting things back to normal is still far away.
Business owners in the area continue to travel to Louisiana to help and have a trip planned for next week.
Paul Allen, Allen Event Group Executive Chef, said there’s still plenty of people there without power and running water.
“We took down about 30,000 pounds of produce, mainly watermelons, and a couple of thousand pounds of pulled pork,” Allen said.
Allen said next week’s food distribution will look a little different. Organizers plan to hold a block party for those in need.
“We wanna have music down there, more pulled pork, more produce,” Allen said.
Mike Hickman, Missouri Mike’s BBQ & More Owner, said they have a plan of feeding 5 to 6,000 people.
“We’re gonna take a thousand pounds down hot,” Hickman said. “We’re gonna back it up with, take our big smoker down, it’ll hold 120 pork butts at a time, go down there. While we’re serving the first round, we’ll be cooking the second.”
Hickman said the goal of a block party atmosphere is to help people forget what Hurricane Ida has done.
“At least look at the positive of it, and I’m not sure what they’ll take of that, but gonna try to take them away from the disaster for just a moment,” Hickman said.
He said BBQ is the perfect comfort food, but it’s hard for these people to make it themselves.
“BBQ is something that takes a long time so when they’re in a time of need they’re not gonna light up the smoker and kind of watch it and kick back,” Hickman said.
Allen and Hickman said they still need help to make the trip happen next week.
They are accepting donations on Venmo, in-person at Missouri Mike’s BBQ & More or there’s a link on their Facebook page. The Venmo username is @momikesbbq.
They said anyone is welcome to head down to Louisiana with them next week to volunteer.