Chick-fil-A is bringing a large order of extra support for the communities where its restaurants are located.
The fast food chain announced this week that it is putting up a $10.8 million fund to be distributed via its more than 1,800 stores.
The money will be available through June so that local franchise owner-operators can help communities through such activities as donations of food or other items to first responders and health care workers, as well as Chick-fil-A employees who are in need and their families.
“Striving to be a supportive, caring and generous neighbor is in our DNA. Our restaurant Operators give back locally in so many ways, and this time is no exception,” Chick-fil-A chairman and CEO Dan Cathy said in a statement on the company’s website.
“I’m humbled by the incredible care our restaurant teams have shown — from offering free meals to health care workers to feeding school children in need to writing notes of encouragement for guests. They know where the need is in their local community, and our goal for this fund is to support their efforts.”
The new effort builds on existing programs such as Chick-fil-A Shared Table, which was established in 2012. In that program, more than 1,100 restaurants donate their surplus food to local organizations that feed the poor and homeless.
Chick-fil-A noted that since March alone, when social-distancing restrictions on Americans began be implemented to fight the coronavirus, more than 320,000 meals have been served.
On April 3, Chick-fil-A president and COO Tim Tassopoulos shared a message on the company’s website.
“This is an unprecedented and certainly unsettling time for our communities, our country, and our world,” he said.
“Amidst social distancing, shelter in place rules, working from home and school closures, our days are different and our challenges, unique. Parents are trying to figure out how they can work and educate their children at the same time. The elderly and home-bound are more isolated than ever before.
“Grocery stores and retailers are facing extraordinary demands on supply chains and millions of people are finding themselves with dramatically reduced work or no job at all,” Tassopoulos added. “As a result, collectively our lives have drastically changed and our concern — for ourselves, for our communities and for one another — is heightened.”
Tassopoulos said Chick-fil-A would continually upgrade its safety measures for customers and employees, pointing out that one of the chain’s bedrock principles is service to communities.
Chick-fil-A has used its Twitter account to celebrate the American spirit that shines through in dark times:
— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) April 2, 2020
This exchange warmed our ❤️s. aiselborn on Instagram brought her grandmother Chick-fil-A breakfast and received homemade blueberry bread and a smile through the window. These are the moments that make social distancing feel not so distant. pic.twitter.com/Dwqhg5VCWd
— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) April 8, 2020
7th Grade Lit Teacher, Ms. Willink has always loved Chick-fil-A. She sent a message to her students that she knew would resonate… she loves them more. Tag a teacher like the.lit_teacher on Instgram who has inspired you. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/CN7h1zx6me
— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) April 10, 2020
“Because serving our communities, especially during uncertain times, is intrinsic to our purpose we will strive to continue serving Customers — by adjusted means such as mobile ordering with curbside pickup, drive-thru’s with social distancing, and delivery so we can continue to provide another option for access to food and genuine hospitality,” Tassopoulos said.
In most areas, restrictions have led to a ban on in-store dining, forcing customers to use the drive-thru or come in for takeout orders. Limits on eating out have led many people to cook more meals at home.
Chick-fil-A has an answer for that as well. The chain has created a series called “Nightly Nuggets” that offers recipes from its stores and the employees who work at them.
“Welcome to today’s episode of Nightly Nuggets – a new series from our kitchens to yours. While you’re at home, we thought we’d share some creative ways to change up your dinner routine with some of our favorite Chick-fil-A items,” Chick-fil-A posted on its Facebook page Tuesday to introduce one recipe.
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