A group of Yellowknife businesses organized a mass purchase of Kentucky Fried Chicken for Fort Simpson residents still dealing with the after effects of last week’s flood.
Forty businesses and individuals participated and raised more than $6,000 to go toward buying 101 buckets of 25 pieces of chicken, plus side items like potato chips and pop, on Saturday afternoon.
According to organizers who spoke with NNSL Media over the weekend, the accumulation of funds for the effort was to “lift the spirits of the community and bring together for a nice surprise.”
Village of Fort Simpson Mayor Sean Whelly said in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon the donation was a very welcome surprise.
“A big thank you to the anonymous group of five donors who ordered $4,500 of Kentucky Fried Chicken coming into Simpson around 8 p.m. tonight,” he said. “The RCMP will be picking it up at the airport and Councillor Troy Bellefontaine will help at the Village Store to hand it out.”
Whelly added the makeshift ‘village store’ in the public works shop, near where 40 or so people staying in tents, will be set up until 9 p.m. to ensure everyone gets chicken.
“We know many people are busy assessing their damage and trying to pump water, so plan for a morale boosting treat tonight. See you then. Everyone is welcome !”
Organizers were putting the last minute touches on the shipment on Sunday afternoon before it was to be delivered by Air Tindi.
The original plan had originally been to send the chicken by Twin Otter but a King Air plane had to be added to the shipment to accommodate the size of the load. People involved estimated the shipment will weigh in at 842 lbs.
Sumeet Arora director of operations with Soul Foods said KFC will mark two weeks being open in Yellowknife on Monday and obviously the sale was one of, if not the largest, he has seen.
“It is definitely a big order and could be a record. I don’t have the data but there have been bulk orders,” he said. “It is definitely up there.”
Arora said the restaurant can handle such large orders but typically needs about a day’s notice because each piece of chicken must be breaded and prepared.
“So we do have to plan for it when it comes to such a large order but we do have the capacity and chicken,” he said, noting that the restaurant has to balance the service for people who are dining in or waiting in the drive thru.
In fact, he said at the time of the order the store was addressing another large order of 18 buckets of chicken by an individual taking the food to a camp.
“I asked the gentleman if he was able to wait an hour or two and he said he was willing and was able to wait,” Arora said. “He was really happy when he got his chicken. “
Arora said the store was pleased to be able to contribute to effort by Yellowknife businesses. “We are really happy we could support the team there and taking the time for purchasing KFC for those affected. We really appreciate that gesture.”