Like Mitt Romney today and President Obama on Monday, Operation BBQ Relief is headed to the Gulf Coast. Unlike the presidential candidates, Operation BBQ Relief will provide tangible help immediately.

The organization will be on the ground, feeding people.

I’ve written about these guys before, most recently about them being chosen as a regional finalist for a Classy Award, which is given out by a philanthropic organization and software company named Stay Classy. (Hey, I don’t make up these names, I just report ‘em).

Operation BBQ Relief, a non-profit organization, was founded in the immediate aftermath of the tornadoes that flattened Joplin, Mo. A bunch of guys hopped in trucks, drove to the devastated town and set up smokers to feed first-responders and residents. Since then, the organization has done the same for other communities hit by natural disaster.

The group has mobilized several of its barbecue brethren in Louisiana to help with the efforts to feed those impacted by the storms. Typically, the group smokes pork shoulder, pork ribs and chicken, with sides. The mobility of its smokers makes the group particularly well-suited to disaster response.

Founder Stan Hays told me in an e-mail yesterday that the organization had received the green light from the Louisiana Emergency Operations Center to team with Operation Blessing International, a faith-based humanitarian group.

Hays says that, as a relatively new group, Operation BBQ Relief does not have a sustained funding source and therefore, with each disaster, must buy meats and supplies such as disposable plates and utensils.

“We are purchasing meat to get started,” Hays wrote, “[but are] hoping that we can find some food donations.”

To help out, or to find out more about the group, visit its Web site.

Further reading:

* Smoke Signals: Operation BBQ Relief

* Operation BBQ Relief vies for national Classy Award