Local News

Chicken sale traffic jam closes Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh

Posted April 15, 2020 6:05 p.m. EDT
Updated April 16, 2020 5:20 p.m. EDT

— A sale of surplus of chicken at unbeatable prices drew so much interest Thursday morning in Raleigh that it backed up traffic onto Interstate 40.

House of Raeford Farms was selling chicken for as low as 87 cents a pound at the State Farmers Market off Centennial Parkway and at Campers Inn RV in Selma.

Buyers backed up Centennial Parkway and Lake Wheeler Road – the access to the farmers market from I-40 – so much that the Lake Wheeler exit was closed and traffic detoured around the area. The state Department of Transportation expected to keep the exit and Lake Wheeler Road closed in both directions through 4 p.m. Thursday.

On Friday, trucks will be selling drumsticks, breasts, thighs and party wings at Hobby Lobby in Wilson, Vernon Park Mall in Kinston, Rocky Mount Stockyard, 3631 S. Church St., Salemburg Fire Department and Coastal Golf Carts in Southport.

During Wednesday's sale, a line of 100 cars spilled onto N.C. Highway 42 from the parking lot of the Cleveland Draft House, where an 18-wheeler filled with 40,000 pounds of meat was parked. Chicken thighs sold for $35 per box, chicken breasts for $45 and chicken wings for $60.

House of Raeford Farms has brought their surplus supply to parking lots in recent days to recoup some lost profits from declining food industry sales. "They're still bringing in and processing chicken everyday, so they wanted to turn around and give a little bit of savings to the community and maintain their farmers' business and their business at the same time," said Rex Hatch, a contractor for the company.

Doug and Cynthia Gosch drove about an hour from Sanford to pick up chicken breasts after having trouble finding some in the grocery store.

"We're doing the online shopping where you drive to the store and pick it up and we're having a hard getting the meat," Gosch said.

Cleveland Draft House loaned their property for the sale. Sean McCoy says even though business is down 90%, they want to support their neighbors who have continued to support them through the pandemic.

"Disappointment is not going to change anything," said McCoy. "Just keep going until this all blows over."

Additional event information:

Thursday, April 16, 2020:

  • Raleigh, NC: N. C. State Farmers Market (front parking lot), 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh, NC 27603; 9 a.m. – 40 lb Cases – Jumbo Boneless Skinless Breasts $45; Jumbo Boneless Skinless Thighs $35; Drumsticks $15; Frozen Party Wings $60
  • Selma, NC: Campers Inn RV of Raleigh, 1501 Outlet Center Dr., Selma, NC 27576; 9 a.m. – 40 lb Cases – Jumbo Boneless Skinless Breasts $45; Jumbo Boneless Skinless Thighs $35; Drumsticks $15; Frozen Party Wings $60
  • Williamston, NC: Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center, 2900 NC Hwy 125 South, Williamston, NC 27892; 9 a.m. – 40 lb Cases – Jumbo Boneless Skinless Breasts $45; Jumbo Boneless Skinless Thighs $35; Drumsticks $15; Frozen Party Wings $60

Friday, April 17, 2020:

  • Kinston, NC: Vernon Park Mall, 834 Hardee Rd., Kinston, NC 28504; 9 a.m. – 40 lb Cases – Jumbo Boneless Skinless Breasts $45; Jumbo Boneless Skinless Thighs $35; Drumsticks $15; Fresh Party Wings $60
  • Rocky Mount Stockyard, 3631 S. Church St., Rocky Mount, NC 27803, 9 a.m. – 40 lb Cases – Jumbo Boneless Skinless Breasts $45; Jumbo Boneless Skinless Thighs $35; Drumsticks $15; Frozen Party Wings $60
  • Salemburg, NC: Salemburg Fire Department, 804 N. Main St., Salemburg, NC 28385; 9 a.m. – 40 lb Cases – Jumbo Boneless Skinless Breasts $45; Jumbo Boneless Skinless Thighs $35; Drumsticks $15;Fresh Party Wings $60
  • Southport, NC: Coastal Golf Carts, 524 N. Howe St., Southport, NC 28461; 9 a.m. – 40 lb Cases – Jumbo Boneless Skinless Breasts $45; Jumbo Boneless Skinless Thighs $35; Drumsticks $15; Fresh Party Wings $60
  • Wilson, NC: Hobby Lobby, 2800 Raleigh Road Pkwy. West, Wilson, NC 27896; 9 a.m. – 40 lb Cases – Jumbo Boneless Skinless Breasts $45; Jumbo Boneless Skinless Thighs $35; Drumsticks $15; Frozen Party Wings $60

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