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Brownwood's Chick-fil-A steps up as power outages continue

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Bridget and Jonathan Jones, who own the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Brownwood, pass out sandwiches from Chick-fil-A to occupants of vehicles in a long line at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church Monday afternoon. Representatives of Chick-fil-A, with the help of some volunteers, gave away hundreds of sandwiches. The location was chosen for the giveaway because it was the closest to residents in Brownwood city limits affected by electricity outages.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Brownwood “just wanted to help.”

That’s how Bridget Jones explained the popular restaurant’s decision to hand out hundreds of sandwiches — at no charge — Monday afternoon as power outages spawned by savage winter weather continued.

Jones and her husband, Jonathan, own the Chick-fil-A, which opened in November at 500 E. Commerce.

And help they did.

The City of Brownwood’s Facebook page helped get the word out earlier Monday, posting that the restaurant — which was closed Monday — was "stepping up" to serve community members who were affected by outages or in need of food. That location was chosen because of its proximity to many residents who had lost power, the Facebook post explained.  

A small group of Chick-fil-A representatives and some volunteers set up an impromptu drive-thru line in a Coggin Avenue Baptist Church parking area around 3:45 p.m. Word got around quickly, and a long line of vehicles wound around the church’s property and fed into a serving area.

As each vehicle pulled forward and stopped, team members called out greetings, retrieved bags with sandwiches from a nearby container and handed them to the vehicle's occupants.

A couple of other team members worked at the restaurant to make the sandwiches and shuttle them to the giveaway site, Bridget Jones said.

Shortly after beginning the giveaway, the team had given away 400 sandwiches. A team member was en route from the restaurant with another 150 sandwiches, and another 250 would probably be made before the day ended, Jones said.

Jones said she and her husband were at their home Monday morning and read on social media about the power outages.

“And so we just kind of looked at each other and thought, ‘What can we do?’” Jones said. “We reached out to our team and said ‘can eight of you get here safely?’ They could get there, and we just decided we’re going to make sandwiches to serve our community and get food out here. That’s really are only purpose. We just wanted to help.”

A message Monday from Oncor Electric Delivery stated:

“The length of controlled outages have been significantly extended due to the current emergency grid conditions and severe cold weather. These outages are taking place across the service territory and ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) has said they could be required through Tuesday.

“We are asking all Oncor customers to be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time. In addition, we are responding to separate outages caused by the record-breaking winter storm that continues to impact our entire service territory. Customers do not need to report their outages at this time. We are doing everything possible to respond to each of these power emergency events. We remain in close coordination with ERCOT and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we do all we can to protect the integrity of the Texas grid.”

As of late Monday night, 4,410 electricity customers were without power, according to poweroutage.com.