BBQ and hurricane relief: Raleigh restaurant answers the call

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Proudly proclaiming herself a Duplin County girl, Debbie Holt decided to do what she does best to help her hurricane-ravaged hometown.

“It breaks my heart. It just breaks my heart … these are good people,” Holt said. “When you grow up somewhere and you see that devastation with the water, you cannot believe it till you see it.”

Holt was working the kitchen at her Clyde Cooper’s BBQ Restaurant on Tuesday when she got a call from an old high school friend organizing a supply run to Duplin flood victims at a church in Beulaville.

“So Mary called me and told me she was on the way to Beulaville, but she was in Raleigh and asked me if I had any food I’d like to share. Of course, I wanted to do it. That’s my hometown. I grew up in Duplin County,” Holt said.

Within an hour’s time, Holt and her team fried up more than 200 pieces of chicken and 40 pounds of barbecue.

“My friend pulled out of here about at 11:30, because you know it takes a while to fry some chicken. But I wanted to make sure everybody got barbecue and fried chicken and everything they could, plus the sweet tea,” Holt said.

Operation:Air Drop

At the private aviation terminal at RDU International Airport, “Operation Air Drop is now in its third day.

More than 150 private pilots are donating time and aircraft to fly relief supplies into the flood zone.

Organizers say the need here is still urgent.

“Right now, we have an overwhelming need. We keep getting calls from counties, from people who need food and they need it now, said Tracy Callahan. “Right now, we have more pilots and planes than we have supplies.”

Mobile Food Pantry

In Harnett County, the line for relief supplies in the Walmart parking lot in Erwin Thursday seemed endless.

“We’ve brought a truckload of food,” said Julia Morales with Second Harvest Food Bank. “It’s anywhere between 10 to 11-thousand pounds of food.”

Second Harvest and Grace Chapel Church teamed up to help storm victims re-stock their pantries with the basics.

For them, and for people like Debbi Holt, it’s not just relief from the storm, but relief for the soul.

“I just want to make sure I can touch somebody’s soul with my good food,” Holt said. “I want my hometown folk to have my hometown good food.”

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