Beloved fast-food chain Chick-fil-A came to the rescue of thousands of travelers who were stranded in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday, when the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport lost power.
Chick-fil-A reportedly teamed up with the City of Atlanta to provide food for travelers who were stuck in a pretty difficult nightmare, with the company violating its own policy of being closed on Sundays in an effort to do a good deed for those in need.
Thousands stranded in Atlanta on a Sunday evening because of the massive power failure at the airport. @ChickfilA, normally not open on Sunday’s, springs into action to feed them all. That’s incredible. What a company.
— Michael Schlact (@michael_schlact) December 18, 2017
Travelers without a place to go were sent to the Georgia International Convention Center, where they were offered accommodations and delicious food from Chick-fil-A, Mashable reported.
Photos emerged late into the night on Sunday showing Chick-fil-A handing out sandwiches and water to weary travelers inside the airport as well, with WSB-TV reporting that 2,000 meals were given out.
Chick-fil-A released a statement explaining how the company ended up getting involved in offering the much-needed relief.
“The mayor called about 10 p.m. and asked for assistance. We immediately mobilized staff and team members who live and work near the airport, and they are making sandwiches and delivering them to the EOC (emergency operations center),” Chick-fil-A said in a statement. “City and airport officials there are distributing sandwiches to passengers who are stranded due to the power outage.”
— Atlanta Airport (@ATLairport) December 18, 2017
The company also addressed the intentional violation of its Sunday closure policy, noting that exceptions are made for times in which people are desperately in need.
“It has been a very difficult day for thousands of travelers, and while Chick-fil-A is always closed on Sunday, our restaurants open occasionally to serve communities in need,” the statement continued. “We do not make a profit, but do what we can to offer comfort to people experiencing hardship.”
The City of Atlanta has mobilized the Georgia International Convention Center and will provide shuttle services for anyone who needs a place to stay for the night. @ChickfilA will provide food for passengers.
— City of Atlanta, GA (@Cityofatlanta) December 18, 2017
The City of Atlanta as well as officials at the airport expressed gratitude to Chick-fil-A for stepping up in such a big way to help. The Atlanta airport’s official Twitter page even dubbed the kind act a “Christmas miracle.”
Power has since been restored at the airport.
As Faithwire previously reported, there’s a deep history to Chick-fil-A’s decision to remain closed on Sundays. The company explains on its website in more detail why it opts for a traditional “day of rest,” noting that the decision was made when the first restaurant was opened in Hapeville, Georgia, more than 70 years ago.
More proof that Chick Fil A is the absolute greatest https://t.co/zBO25OGBTs
— Ben McDonald (@Bmac0507) December 18, 2017
“Having worked seven days a week in restaurants open 24 hours, Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose — a practice we uphold today,” the website reads.
Cathy, who died in 2014, had always argued that the company should be “about more than just selling chicken,” arguing for involvement in both the community and lives of the customers.
“We should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve,” he said.