Claim:   Chick-fil-A provided free food to motorists stranded during a blizzard in Birmingham, Alabama.


TRUE


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2015]


I received this email message and before forwarding it on I
wanted to make sure it was legitimate. Thank you!

“Subject: Chicken in a blizzard

This is a story that is very worth reading, I bet you have not and will
not hear any of this on radio, TV, or elsewhere by the ‘lamebrain’ media.
So Please read it and then pass it along to everyone you know.

TWO years ago Chick-fil-A made national headlines when company president
Dan Cathy spoke out in support of traditional marriage. Liberals and
gays came unglued and launched massive protests against the restaurant
chain. Several mayors spoke out saying they would not allow any more
Chick-fil-As to be built in their cities.

They tried boycotting the Christian owned company, but that backfired.
Instead, Chick-fil-A had a world record day with many locations selling
out of food to the hundreds of thousands of supporters. Is it any
surprise that the only news the liberal mainstream media has reported
concerning Chick-fil-A has only been ‘the negative’?.

Remember last week when the ice storm hit the south? The mainstream
media showed footage of miles of cars stranded on the frozen interstates.
Several national news broadcasts that I saw reported about school kids
trapped on busses for almost 24 hours because of all of the ice and
parents going frantic wondering where their kids were.

In all of the icy gloom and doom, I bet you didn’t hear about the heroic
and generous actions of a Chick-fil-A along Highway 280 in Birmingham,
Alabama, did you?


 

Origins:  

In January 2014 a snowstorm struck parts of Alabama, resulting in highways being shut down as inexperienced drivers ill-equipped for driving in such unfamiliar weather conditions were unable to continue, leaving many motorists stuck on roads in icy weather for several hours. On 29 January 2014, Fox News columnist Todd Starnes wrote about acts of assistance performed by employees of a Birmingham, Alabama, Chick-fil-A restaurant. Starnes spoke to manager Mark Meadows and assistant manager Audrey Pitt about their actions during the blizzard:



“Our store is about a mile and a half from the interstate and it took me two hours to get there,” manager Audrey Pitt told me. “It was a parking lot as far as I could see.”

Some of the drivershad been stuck in their cars for nearly seven hours without any food or water. So the staff of the Chick-fil-A decided to lend a helping hand.

“We cooked several hundred sandwiches and stood out on both sides of 280 and handed out the sandwiches to anyone we could get to — as long as we had food to give out.”


Audrey said [drivers] were especially surprised that the sandwiches were free. Why not make some extra money during the storm? It’s not like anyone could go to another restaurant. Chick-fil-A had a captive crowd of hungry customers. So why did they give away their food?

“This company is based on taking care of people and loving people before you’re worried about money or profit,” Audrey told me. “We were just trying to follow the model that we’ve all worked under for so long and the model that we’ve come to love. There was really nothing else we could have done but try to help people any way we could.”


Pitt also stated that the Chick-fil-A outlet opened their doors to residents in need of a place to warm up and fed those who visited it for free during the storm.

Accounts of Meadows and Pitt’s good deeds were reported by numerous national news outlets,

but by April 2014, the forwarded e-mail quoted

above began to circulate claiming that positive news coverage about Chick-fil-A had been suppressed.

However, several major news outlets such as ABC News and the Huffington Post reported upon Meadows’ actions (as well as his subsequent charitable acts), and if some members of the general public didn’t hear about the story at the time, it was only because they weren’t paying attention to the news.

The e-mail claiming the original story had been “suppressed” circulated again after a similar snowfall in February 2015, leading many recipients to believe that the events described had occurred more than a year earlier.

Last updated:   10 March 2015


Sources:




    Chambers, Jesse.   “Highway 280 Chick-fil-A Took ‘Opportunity to Help …'”

    AL.com.   29 January 2014.


    Clarke, Susan.   “Chick-fil-A Franchisee Gives Needy Man Free Meal, His Own Gloves.”

    ABC News.   13 January 2015.


    Gonzalez, Erika.   “Chick-Fil-A Owner Hands Out Food to Drivers Stranded on Highway 280.”

    KFVS-TV.   29 January 2014.


    Schultz, Eric.   “Some Cities Had Historic Snowfall, For Others It Was Just a Rainy Day.”

    AL.com.   25 February 2015.


    Starnes, Todd.   “Chick-fil-A Gives Free Food to Motorists Stranded in Southern Snowstorm.”

    Fox News.   29 January 2014.


    Yam, Kimberly.   “Chick-Fil-A Owner Gives His Own Gloves and Free Food to Man in Need.”

    Huffington Post.   13 January 2015.


    “Chick-fil-A Feeds Stranded Drivers”

    WNYW-TV [New York].   29 January 2014.