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Teenage employee fired from grocery store for eating food that was going to be thrown out: 'Is no one else angered by this?'

"I find it absolutely ridiculous."

"I find it absolutely ridiculous."

Photo Credit: iStock

At the end of every day, workers in stores and restaurants nationwide throw away tons upon tons of perfectly safe, edible, delicious food. Many of them would rather donate that food to those in need, but they're forced to follow company policies that dictate they throw out and sometimes even intentionally ruin the food. 

One Redditor posted in r/antiwork about what happens when a worker steps out of line.

What happened?

The original poster told the story of their friend, a foster care resident who was fired for eating food set to be thrown away. 

"So my friend who's in high school got fired from his long time job of a year from his position at Meijer in the hot bar section," the OP said.

Like many similar businesses, Meijer often has unsold food. 

"Usually what happens at the end of each day is that they throw away pounds of all the fresh food that they prepare if it's not sold. And from that pile of food that was being thrown away, he had two chicken strips because he was really hungry," they explained further. 

Why is it important if Meijer throws away food?

All that food is going to waste each day, doing no good to either the company or the hungry people in the community. Some of the people who could benefit the most are store employees, who often work for minimum wage or close to it and may struggle to afford the same food that they prepare and serve daily.

"I find it absolutely ridiculous that pounds and pounds of fresh food is thrown away daily at places like this," said the OP. "Is no one else angered by this?"

On top of the people going hungry, this practice is bad for the environment. The more food goes in the trash, the more new food we have to produce to keep up with demand, using land, water, and other resources that are not infinite.

🗣️ What's your biggest motivation in trying to reduce your personal food waste?

🔘 Saving money 💰

🔘 Helping the planet 🌎

🔘 Not being a wasteful person 😇

🔘 I don't think about reducing food waste 🤷

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Is Meijer doing anything about food waste?

Meijer claims lofty goals when it comes to food waste. 

"The reality is that we cannot prevent all food waste, but we can make sure it doesn't go to waste," the company says on its website, describing its "food rescue" programs to send donations to food banks.

It also claims, "Our stores keep most of [their] food waste (food scraps and damaged food) out of the landfill by recycling it into animal feed or compost to nourish local soils."

However, there's clearly still some food ending up in the trash.

What's being done about food waste more broadly?

As the OP said, there are options for Meijer's daily batch of unsold food. 

"For those of you who are restaurant managers or work at food places, consider asking your management to use the app 'Too Good To Go' … It is free to use for both users and store owners so there is honestly no reason to not," they said.

As individuals, we can also help by composting our food waste and utilizing apps like Too Good To Go and Flashfood. We can also ensure we make the most of our leftovers and only buy what we can eat. 

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