BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — On Friday, Attalla Plastic Surgery, Cotton BBQ and Empanada’s BG partnered together to help feed families who were impacted by the deadly tornado that hit Bowling Green.

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  • Cotton BBQ has served more than 2,300 meals since last Saturday's storm

  • Cotton BBQ teamed up with Attalla Plastic Surgery and Empanada’s BG to help feed families who are displaced from the storm

  • On Friday the three food trucks served 1,100 meals in 90 minutes

That’s when Eric Cotton, owner of Cotton BBQ jumped into action. Cotton has owned the business for two and a half years, but he wasn’t always behind the grill.

“I was more or less pushed into it. I had a corporate job, I was let go from that job and I was trying to figure out what my next step was going to be,” said Cotton, owner of Cotton BBQ. “I always wanted to do a food truck so we decided to make that jump and go ahead and do it.”

Erin Cotton preps the barbeque in his food truck. (Spectrum News 1/Erin Wilson)

The food truck has now been in business for nearly three years and after hearing of the damage of the tornado that hit Bowling Green, Cotton hit the road and started serving his community.

“We have the capability of being mobile. We actually had food cooking already for the day anyways, so we just loaded up the trailer, posted it up where it was affected, one of the hard hit areas and we just started feeding all the first responders,” Cotton said.

Cotton BBQ has served around 2,300 meals since Saturday's storm – serving every other day as the meat takes 12 to 14 hours to cook.

“We've all been working long hours, the detectives have been out in the community looking for missing people and it's great to just know that we can come by, get a hot meal for free and continue doing what we do and not have to worry about it,” Mike Nade, detective with the Bowling Green Police Department said.

But for those who can't leave their job, there's volunteers like Lindsey Sanson for that too. Piling lunches into their cars and delivering meals to anyone in need.

“It makes me smile, it makes my heart happy but at the same time it breaks my heart just because there's so much devastation here but I know that this community is full of so many amazing people and were going to take care of the people that don't have anything and help in anyway that we can,” Sanson said.

Although Cotton doesn't get to see who the meals go to, he’s just happy to play a small part in getting them back on their feet.

“Yeah, we're giving the free meal but there's people that are out there that are digging through the rubble, that lost everything,” Cotton said. “As long as they have an option to have a hot meal, we're happy and we're glad to do it.”

Between Cotton BBQ, Empanada’s BG and the Cajun Food Truck, 1,100 meals were served in 90 minutes. Cotton said they will continue to provide meals for the community for however long it's needed.