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Fred Meyer Getting Police to Guard Discarded Food During Historic Ice Storm Is the Bad Place


Eleanor Shellstrop on the Good Place

You know you’re the villain of this story if you’d rather destroy food instead of giving it to the needy during a historic ice storm. That’s the case for Fred Meyer, a supermarket in Northeast Portland. On Tuesday, the store dumped thousands of perishable foods because they had lost power, like many businesses and homes in the region due to the storm. It was reported by locals that there were mountains of salvageable packed meat, cheese, and juice. It didn’t take long for locals to appear to try to salvage some some of the food for themselves or for local shelters.

Fred Meyer, being the Disney villain they truly are, reportedly had employees guarding the dumpsters and threatening those who came near with the police. Personally, they wouldn’t be able to pay me enough to guard a dumpster full of good food that could be salvaged and used during the worst ice storm in Oregon history. You know, that ice storm that has left thousands without powers and threatened the lives of many in the state. That storm. Fred Meyer, who for some reason thought, “Hey, let’s make this an even bigger PR nightmare for us.,” then decided to call the police.

About a dozen Portland officers arrived on the scene and threatened to arrest anyone who came near the dumpster, even if you were just there to report the news. Not so surprisingly, it gets worse. According to locals, Fred Meyer employees and armed security guards started opening packages and destroying the food in the dumpster. In the middle of an ice storm and pandemic, this is the hill that Fred Meyer wants to die on, and it’s sickening. People are suffering, cold, hungry, and running out of options. This food could help dozens, maybe hundreds, of people if Fred Meyer wasn’t so concerned with making money.

What makes this even worse is that Fred Meyer has a “Zero Hunger, Zero Waste” initiative. According to their website, “Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan is our commitment to ending hunger in our communities and eliminating waste across our company by 2025.” How is destroying food that could go to a suffering community part of your Zero Hunger | Zero Waste program? How is calling cops to guard a dumpster with salvageable food part of the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste program? And how is getting your employees to open and destroy food that can be distributed to warming centers and homeless shelters, part of the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste program?

At the end of the day, I wasn’t the only one disgusted by Fred Meyer, their lack of concern for the community, and the way they approached the situation during a storm that has devastated thousands.

(image: NBC)

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Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.