In 1946, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy decided to close for business on Sundays so that he and his employees could rest or worship. But on December 17, the chicken chain opened its doors to travelers at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport who were stranded due to a power outage.
A series of photos on social media shows Chick-fil-A staffers handing out food and water.
“LIGHTS ON and delivering food and water to our passengers! Thank you @dancathy with @ChickfilA for opening on a SUNDAY #ChristmasMiracle,” Atlanta Airport wrote in a tweet, thanking the chain’s CEO Dan Cathy.
In a statement, a Chick-fil-A spokesperson said: “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). City and airport officials there are distributing sandwiches to passengers who are stranded due to the power outage. 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. We do not make a profit, but do what we can to offer comfort to people experiencing hardship.”
Shortly after midnight, power was restored in the airport. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed confirmed in a tweet that 2,000 Chick-fil-A meals had been provided thus far. According to Business Insider, that number eventually climbed to 5,000. For more on the Georgia-based fried chicken chain, here are 10 things you didn’t know about Chick-fil-A.