Food waste is a big problem in the United States, and one recent example of a massive amount of food waste left Redditors shaking their heads.
Posted to the r/Target subreddit, a person who identified themselves as a Target employee shared a photo of a dumpster of food that had to be thrown away, captioning the photo “Target coolers went down.”
“Nearly 50k worth of food all had to be thrown away because roof top unit went out at our target,” they wrote.
“I absolutely hate to see it. Should have called some local foodbanks or something,” wrote one commenter.
“Happened TWICE last year at our store. The moment we were at 80% back in stock after the first one the power went out again. So heartbreaking,” wrote another.
In some cases, stores have been able to give away food in the event of a power outage. A food bank in Arkansas was recently able to save and distribute 60,000 meals after a Kroger in North Little Rock lost power.
Similarly, a Trader Joe’s in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, distributed free food to customers after its fridges broke down.
However, as many commenters in the Reddit thread pointed out, this type of solution is not always feasible for individual stores, as perishable food that has gotten above a certain temperature is required to be thrown away by company policy because of liability issues.
And later on, the original poster said they believed this was the case. “They went out for too long otherwise I’m pretty sure we would’ve donated it,” they said.
One solution to this problem could be for each store to be equipped with backup generators in case the power goes out.
“Been there, done that,” wrote another commenter. “Don’t know why they don’t get backup generators for chilled and frozen.”
“Guess backup generators aren’t a thing when lining pockets is more important. G** d*** wasteful,” wrote another.
The issue of edible food being thrown away by stores is not limited to issues like this one, however. According to the USDA, nearly one-third of all available food in the United States ends up getting thrown away because of loss or waste. When you consider how many people face hunger in the U.S. — 34 million people, including 9 million children, according to Feeding America — that really is heartbreaking.
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