Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Manna, with a side of waffle fries

The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Inverness, Alabama, has a Web page that claims the store is committed to providing "Second Mile" service. To know what that means, remember back to January, 2014. Locals were expecting a "light dusting" of snow, but instead they got an ice storm. Highways clogged and thousands of motorists were stranded, including many on Highway 280. Meanwhile, a mile-and-a-half away. owner Mark Meadows closed his Chick-fil-A and sent his employees home early, but many soon returned, unable to navigate the icy roads. After they told Mark what they'd seen on the highway, where drivers had been trapped for hours without food or water, he and his staff cooked several hundred sandwiches and hiked across the ice to Highway 280, where they stood in the snow on both sides of the road, handing out free sandwiches to anyone they could reach.

They slipped and slid on the slick pavement as they gave away hot, juicy chicken breasts tucked between two buttered buns, refusing to take a penny for the sandwiches. For the frozen drivers, it was more than a sandwich; it was manna from heaven. Manager Audrey Pitt said many motorists were surprised the sandwiches were free. Why not make some extra money during the storm? Chick-fil-A had a captive crowd of hungry customers. Why give the food away?

"Our company is based on taking care of people and loving people before you worry about money or profit," Pitt explained.

Lauren Dango was a stranded motorist who knows Mark Meadows. She was stunned to see him walking from car to car giving away sandwiches. Later she wrote to Chick-fil-A headquarters, "Kudos to Mark for not only preaching the 'Second Mile' concept, but for actually living it."

It's no secret that Chick-fil-A is run on biblical values. That's why it's closed on Sunday. What happened in Inverness is an example of how these values play out.

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