- February 11, 2018
A local food truck in Winter Garden is lending a helping hand to those impacted by Hurricane Ida.
Smoking Soul BBQ is a pop-up barbeque and catering service in the Winter Garden and Horizon West areas. The pop-up menu includes smoked meats such as pulled pork, ribs, Texas-style brisket and chicken, as well as sides such as coleslaw, made-from-scratch beans and pasta salad.
The food truck originally took to Facebook to announce its plan to help.
"The damage, both caused by and yet to be seen from hurricane Ida is very real and people are in desperate need of help," the Facebook post said. "God has called on us to help our brothers and sisters in need."
Smoking Soul will be collecting financial donations that will be sent to Operation BBQ Relief, a non-profit organization that provides warm meals to those displaced by disasters.
All tips collected at the pop-up on Saturday, along with extra donations, will go straight to the organization to help.
David Betz, chef and owner of Smoking Soul BBQ, said he was lying in bed planning out the next day and watching updates on the storm when God put the decision in his heart.
Betz quoted Matthew 25:35: "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in."
Betz said when he saw the people in Louisiana were struggling, he knew he had to do what he could to help because it was the right thing to do.
"I have two little girls, and I can't imagine having to endure what they're going through, so it's up to us to do what we can," Betz said. "If there's one thing I hope they learn, it's that the gifts we're given in life aren't meant to be squandered. We're given them so we can bless and help others."