Church's Chicken Feeds Thousands in Storm-Stricken Texas

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, September 11th, 2017

There was a line out the door in Beeville, TX when the local Church's Chicken opened for "Pay What You Can" Day. The event was organized with the aim of providing access to hot, wholesome meals to those impacted by hurricane and flooding conditions in the southeast Texas area. Over 6,000 pieces of chicken were served – the equivalent of 2,200 meals – for a restaurant that typically serves about 250 meals during a morning shift under regular circumstances.

"Some people told us Church's was the first hot meal they'd had in nine days – since the very start of storm conditions," said Joe Christina, Chief Executive Officer for Church's. Christina was on hand in Beeville to support the restaurant team and to coordinate with local officials for ongoing community relief and rebuilding efforts. "People are living in shelters and motels with no idea of when, or even if, they'll return home," he continued. "For them, this meal was a return to normalcy, if only for a brief moment, and a chance to restore hope for the days ahead."

The "Pay What You Can" event also functioned as a fundraiser for the American Red Cross and their ongoing recovery efforts. In all, the restaurant raised $1,750 – which Church's intends to contribute another $3250 for a total $5,000 donation to the American Red Cross. "The outpouring of community support was incredible," Christina added. "Some were giving their very last dollar, others were giving all they had in spite of losing their home, businesses, and more. The power of community is doing so much good here – and it's needed now more than ever.  And, our crew worked tirelessly to work together with the community to make it happen."

Going Beyond Chicken

In addition to making sure people are fed and have safe places to stay, Church's is working with police, the mayor, and city council members in Beeville to coordinate additional relief efforts for the greater Corpus Christi area. Many towns just outside Beeville have yet to recover from storm damage and flooding – leaving local businesses closed and residents with fewer resources. One of the more pressing challenges currently facing the area is a lack of school supplies for students that had to evacuate or who suffered losses.

"We're very pleased to be able to remedy this issue through our Church's Foundation – which already has a strong focus on education," explained Christina. "Local officials are working to let us know what students need to return to the classroom and we stand ready to support them."