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Target employee sparks fury online after sharing photos of carts full of unopened food: 'Makes me sick'

"Hurts me so much."

"Hurts me so much."

Photo Credit: iStock

When a freezer breaks, there's usually a mad rush to rescue the food within and find somewhere to put it before it defrosts and spoils.

If this happens at a grocery store, more often than not, thousands of dollars of food go to waste in a matter of hours.

On the r/Target subreddit, one employee posted a picture of a dumpster full of food waste set for landfill following a freezer compressor malfunction. 

"I'm not even close to being finished," the Redditor said after uploading three pictures, one of the dumpster and two of carts full of frozen pizza products. "Throwing out all this food hurts me so much. Target needs better [policies] in place."

"Hurts me so much."
Photo Credit: u/EconomyDirection9409 / Reddit
"Hurts me so much."
Photo Credit: u/EconomyDirection9409 / Reddit

It's difficult to handle an unfortunate situation like this, with contamination issues a problem after thawing, but such a waste of food that could have been donated to locals in need is pretty heartbreaking.

Sadly, it seems this is not an uncommon situation.

"This happened at my store multiple times this past year!" one user said. "I'm in a super and we filled 6 dumpsters with all of the food from meat dairy frozen deli produce. It was awful!"

But broken freezers are not the only reason that food gets sent to the trash.

"Makes me sick, man," one user said of the wasted items. "I once witnessed my coworker actually crying as she disposed of an entire cart load of food left behind by someone trying to shoplift. She said she was so broke she had eaten nothing but oatmeal for a week straight and she was being forced to throw out perfectly good milk, fruit, frozen meals and pizzas."

According to Feeding America, 44 million people in the United States are food insecure, including 13 million children. That the landfill is the ultimate destination for wasted food feels unconscionable when reading those statistics.

The organization says that 119 billion pounds of food gets wasted annually in the United States, equivalent to 130 billion meals and $408 billion in value.

Meanwhile, Earth.org notes that discarded food is not only a waste of natural resources used to grow it in the first place — such as energy, fuel, and water — but food that rots in landfills contributes to the production of methane gas, which contributes 20% of the planet-warming polluting gases emitted worldwide.

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