Every day countless people, including children, in America go without all the food they need. And for children, nutrition is vitally important to their success in school. But when children go without, their grades suffer and they’re less likely to graduate high school and succeed in life.
Residents in Celina, Ohio watched as a Walmart store threw out carts upon carts of food that could have gone to the hungry. Because the video was so upsetting, the clip quickly went viral online. Now Walmart corporate has been forced to respond to the outrage. They released an official statement on social media to address their wasteful practice.
Gary Joe Ahrns was the Good Samaritan who exposed Walmart’s wasteful practice of throwing out their food. He was behind the Ohio store on November 6 when he turned on his Facebook Live feed to show the world how Walmart throws out carts of food. In the video, you can see associates throwing away cartloads of food many which contain milk and ham.
At one point in the video, Ahrns goes up to the trashed food to inspect it. He is shocked to see that the food is not even expired. Why then is Walmart throwing it all away when they could just as quickly donate it to a homeless shelter to an afterschool program.
Ahrns even goes up to a manager and asks if he can take some of the food. But the manager refuses his request and tells him no.
Because the incident is so upsetting and wasteful, Ahrns’s exposing video was shared 200,000 times. More than 43,000 comments were posted about the video.
On Monday, Walmart Celina shared a press release on social media to address the outrage people have expressed.
“We have fielded a number of calls regarding a video circulating on Facebook showing our associates throwing out food, and we wanted our customers and community to understand the situation. Unfortunately, due to a tornado that affected our store in Celina, Ohio on November 5, the food being disposed of was unsafe for consumption after the store lost power for 14 hours. Per internal and health department policies, we followed proper procedures by disposing of the food.”
It is unfortunate that so much food had to go to waste. But it appears that Walmart was trying to protect their consumers from the potentially rotten food. Because the tornado knocked out power for a long time, the store’s refrigerators and freezers were compromised.
In response to the Walmart post, people shared their experiences.
“I’ve worked in a large grocery chain in Chicago for 18 years. We have had power outages some minor some large. We’ve had freezers and coolers go down overnight. Trust me when I tell you the workers and the companies do NOT want to throw food away!!! But there are rules and regulations in place to protect the public from getting extremely sick. Ask yourself would you eat something that sat out on your counter overnight that should have been in the fridge??”
Do you think Walmart’s statement explains why they had to throw away so much food?