Chicken Sale in Area Church Parking Lot Hits a Snag

CANTON (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – An idea created from good intentions came to an early close this afternoon, as a chicken sale being operated by Case Farms in the Trinity Gospel Temple on West Tuscarawas street was temporarily shut down by Canton City Public Health.

With hopes to keep people working while also avoiding a large amount of chicken from going to waste, Case Farms contacted pastor Dana Gammill of Trinity Gospel Temple with an idea: a discount sale to help those in need.

“They came to us and said they wanted to make chicken available to people at a very, very discounted rate,” Gammill told WHBC News. “People are really struggling. They wanted to keep people working and didn’t want to waste the chicken.”

Instead Case Farms wanted to make it available to the community. With a large parking lot that could help keep sizable crowds at an appropriate social distance, Trinity Gospel agreed to be the host venue for the operation.

The chicken was sold for dollars less than it would be in stores;  fifty cents a pound for dark meat and a dollar a pound for white meat. While the church provided its parking lot and assistance in the transactions, Gammill says they did not accept a single dime.

“The church was making no money on this, what so ever,” said Gammill. “We just want to help people.”

In the limited time the sale took place, many people were helped. Gammill says that hundreds of cars stopped through the sale, which started at 9 a.m. At one point, things became so crowded that traffic was backed up for blocks on West Tusc.

Gammill estimated that a few hundred people purchased chicken. Each sale was assisted by members of the church, who were wearing gloves and masks while transporting the food to customers cars, thus allowing them to stay inside, at a safe distance.

While the event was a success early on, the sale did not get to continue until all the chicken was gone. Canton City Public Health shut down the sale just a few hours after it started due to an apparent violation of standard procedures.

Canton Health Commissioner Jim Adams elaborated on what went wrong. He says it was a small mistake that can be fixed soon.

“Anytime you sell food to the public, no matter what the location, it does require supervision from the health department,” said Adams. “(The church parking lot) was an unlicensed location. We are working with Case Farms now to solve any licensing and food safety issues that may be occurring because of that. We hope to have everything situated by early next week.”

While chicken can’t be offered until next week, Trinity Gospel Temple says they have made their services for the upcoming weekend available via live stream, conference call and FM transmitter broadcast in the parking lot.

You can hear more about that in the full interview with Pastors Dana and Michael Gammill that is posted below.