Photos of shopping carts full of various foods being thrown away in a Walmart surfaced in a viral TikTok post, causing consternation and sadness among the commenters.
The images show shopping carts full of bacon and other meat, frozen pizzas, baked goods, and other items, all ready to be thrown in the garbage. The frozen food and refrigerated sections are blocked off with yellow caution tape.
“This is tragic in the USA to do this when so many [go] hungry daily,” wrote TikTok user hurladenton (@redbirds29691), who posted the images. “Unbelievable and disrespectful … I called Walmart and complained that this could have been donated quickly. I was told they will NOT donate.”
@redbirds29691 See in my walmart video I said I took pictures of them throwing away this kind or food and amount. Here are just a few pics i took.This is tragic in the USA to do this when so many goes hungry daily. Unbelievable and disrespectful. I was so sick to my stomach about this, I called Walmart and complained that this could have been donated quickly. I was told they will NOT Donate. #fypシ #fyp #dumpsterdiving #helpingothers #givingbacktothecommunity ♬ OMG – White Gangster
In the comment section, replying to a commenter who asked whether the power went out, they replied, “Not the power but they told us something with the temperature [gauges].” That means that the food was possibly still perfectly fine for consumption, but because of store policy, it ended up in a landfill.
This is especially upsetting considering that food is the “single largest component of U.S. landfills,” accounting for 22%, and around 119 billion pounds of food is thrown away annually in the United States.
“What the heck … ” wrote another commenter. “Food Lion and Publix and Ingles donates to the food bank.” (For the record, not all Publix, apparently, donate food that is going to be thrown away.)
While many stores have policies against giving away food if there have been any issues regarding refrigeration in order to avoid liability issues, these policies are not as clear-cut and ironclad as they seem.
For example, one Trader Joe’s gave away thousands of dollars worth of food for free after its refrigerators broke. No one sued them, and Trader Joe’s remains in business. In another instance, a Kroger in Arkansas donated 60,000 meals to a local food bank after it lost power.
Whether or not Walmart could have donated this food and simply chose not to is unknown in this case, but regardless, it’s hard to see that much food go to waste.
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