Chick-fil-A in Atlanta broke its "closed-on-Sunday" company policy to serve food to stranded airline passengers affected by a massive power outage on Sunday, Dec. 17.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport lost power on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 17, grounding over 1,000 flights and leaving thousands of travelers stranded with food supplies low on planes stuck on the tarmac and in the airport where restaurants had closed.
Around 10 p.m. on Sunday, Atlanta's mayor, Kasim Reed, called the fast-food chain for assistance. The City of Atlanta Twitter account tweeted that the city's convention center would provide transportation to passengers needing a place to sleep overnight and that Chick-fil-A would provide food to travelers.
Chick-fil-A is not open on Sunday because of the founder's Christian beliefs. The company spokesperson said that although the fast-food chain is always closed on Sunday, the restaurant will "open occasionally to serve communities in need."
Twitter users were quick to celebrate the chain's break from company policy. One Twitter user remarked how the chain "normally not open on Sunday's, springs into action to feed them all. That's incredible. What a company."
Chick-fil-A staff and team members delivered food to the airport, some preparing sandwiches by hand offsite and personally delivering them to the Emergency Operations Center, according to the chain's spokesperson. City and airport officials distributed sandwiches to stranded passengers. A total of 5,302 sandwiches were donated. Shortly after midnight, the power was fully restored at the airport.
In 2015, the company bankrolled anti-LGBTQ causes with more than $1.4 million in donations, according to ThinkProgress. CEO Dan Cathy faced national backlash when he told a Christian newspaper: "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit."
The Human Rights Campaign recently scored Chick-fil-A a big zero on LGBTQ-inclusive policies. The chain issued a statement at the time of Cathy's guilty-as-charged opposition of same-sex marriage, which stated the company's promise to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender." Chick-fil-A, however, cannot back this statement with any LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination policies.