A hundred buckets of KFC chicken are making their way from Yellowknife to Fort Simpson families hit by flooding.
More than 40 volunteers in the city raised more than $6,000 in less than an hour to buy the chicken, which is being shipped alongside chips, snacks, and Pepsi from Territorial Beverages.
Mayor Sean Whelly of Fort Simpson said on Facebook the delivery would be a “morale-boosting treat” for residents who have suffered more than a week of displacement and uncertainty.
Water that overwhelmed many areas of the village’s main island at last began to recede in earnest on Sunday, allowing residents their first real opportunity to return home and assess the damage. Repairs are expected to take weeks, the Canadian Rangers have been called in, and more than 150 people remain temporarily housed in Fort Smith and Hay River.
Jennifer Vornbrock, co-owner of Yellowknife’s Monkey Tree Pub, helped to coordinate Sunday’s chicken bonanza for weary Dehcho residents. In all, she said, the delivery weighs 842 lb.
“Yesterday, I got a call from a friend who had this crazy idea to send a treat to the community,” Vornbrock told Cabin Radio.
“His question to me was, ‘Do you think we can pull this off?’ I said, ‘Well, how much chicken are we talking?’
“We got some information from contacts on the ground and determined we would need 100 buckets of chicken – 2,500 pieces. We stopped by KFC, spoke with the manager, and confirmed we could make it happen.”
Vornbrock spoke as the last eight buckets were handed over at KFC and rushed to the airport. Air Tindi had to upgrade its aircraft for the Sunday evening flight to accommodate the cargo, Vornbrock said.
Technically, 101 buckets will be travelling. One bucket was ordered for the flight crew.
“I think the staff at KFC had a mini heart attack yesterday when the order was processed,” said Vornbrock.
“It was priceless. This may be the most insane thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
The flight was expected to arrive at around 8pm, Whelly 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. So we expect to be open till 9pm or until everyone gets chicken,” the mayor told residents.
“We know many people are busy assessing their damage and trying to pump water, so plan for a morale-boosting treat tonight.”