HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Sunday was a day of giving for a group in Rockland County.

Hot meals were served up and delivered to people in need, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.

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Barbecue is comfort food, and never more so than when it is being craved up into 5,000 donated plates.

“Being able to do this a week before Christmas, it’s phenomenal. These volunteers were out here with 10-degree weather, up all night cooking,” said Dana Hood of Operation BBQ Relief.

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A parking lot in Montvale, New Jersey was basecamp for volunteer chefs with Operation BBQ Relief. Meals were handed out drive-through style, while other plates went to community centers and food banks in Rockland County.

“We have pulled pork, green beans and bread,” one volunteer said.


At the center in Haverstraw, first in line was retired 87-year-old factory worker Tina Franco, who struggles to get by on her slim, fixed income.

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“I’m living with Social Security, nothing else,” Franco said.

One of the younger volunteers, 15-year-old Avery Hood, spent hours on the food prep assembly line.

“It makes me really feel good about committing some of my own time to help other people,” Avery Hood said.

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Volunteers are also making door-to-door deliveries, like at a nearby senior housing community, Carlin reported.

“We see all walks of life. We see professionals that were just on top of the world and coming through and just appreciating that one hot meal,” Dana Hood said.

“It’s heartfelt. I mean, we’ve had people here with tears in their eyes,” Rockland Sheriff Louis Falco said.

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Falco’s department volunteered to handle all the large deliveries, becoming law enforcement escorts for these merriest of meals.