Golden Harvest Food Bank to receive items from evicted grocery store

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 1:47 PM
Last updated Thursday, March 28, 2013 2:41 AM
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Nonperishable groceries once destined for the Richmond County landfill were donated Wednesday to Golden Harvest Food Bank.

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Tony Martin, who works with Thompson Building and Wrecking Co., moves boxes of items from Laney Supermarket to a Golden Harvest Food Bank truck.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Tony Martin, who works with Thompson Building and Wrecking Co., moves boxes of items from Laney Supermarket to a Golden Harvest Food Bank truck.

Three large trash bins filled with merchandise from Laney Supermarket, 843 Laney-Walker Boulevard, were stored overnight at a warehouse of Thompson Building and Wrecking, a company hired by the grocery’s property manager for disposal of the items.

A handful of staff members separated canned foods from household items, and boxed the items Wednesday morning. A Golden Harvest truck retrieved the load, which filled about half the truck.

Perishable items, including meat and produce, were taken to the landfill, said Hiram Thompson, president of Thompson Building and Wrecking.

“We had the option of taking it to the landfill or doing something good with it,” Thompson said.

The grocery store tenant, Il Ki Choi, was evicted Tuesday after he failed to obey a 30-day notice that its lease would not be renewed. The eviction notice was served Feb. 13.

On Tuesday, hundreds crowded the grocery store parking lot hoping to make off with merchandise piled outside the store before the Richmond County sheriff’s and marshal’s offices said they would not be allowed to take away any goods.

Travis McNeal, Golden Harvest’s executive director, said the food bank will sort and inspect the items before they are distributed to the hungry.

“The most sad thing is a lot of food got dirty or messed up because it was all thrown in there together,” McNeal said.

Perishable items, even if retrieved immediately from the store, might not have been salvageable, McNeal said. It would have been difficult to know whether meat had been properly refrigerated.

Thompson said when his business received the call from property manager FirstService Residential Realty to deliver trash bins quickly to the site, it did not know the situation with the food.

A truck driver alerted the company’s dispatch office, and additional Thompson Wrecking and Building crews arrived to assist a few workers that were already there.

Golden Harvest receives donated perishable items from major grocery store chains almost daily, McNeal said. Occasionally, restaurants or catering businesses going out of business will donate items.

The food bank is responsible for checking items and adhering to guidelines set by the federal Food and Drug Administration, he said.

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fishman960
1492
Points
fishman960 03/27/13 - 02:00 pm
11
0
Not much

Sorting through two bins isn't going to yield much.
Glad to see that some sort of effort was made to salvage anything possible.

Grace422
239
Points
Grace422 03/27/13 - 02:04 pm
7
0
Good News..

Good news Mr. Thompson... Thank you!

Little Lamb
47012
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/13 - 02:02 pm
5
2
Diapers

I want the diapers.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 03/27/13 - 02:07 pm
3
3
alls well that ends well

alls well that ends well right?

Edward1968
624
Points
Edward1968 03/27/13 - 02:24 pm
7
1
Wishful Thinking

Too bad that the food pantry trucks could not have been there from the start so that the perishable food could have been used too.

Fiat_Lux
15913
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/27/13 - 02:26 pm
6
1
That's nice...however,

it's a crime against the poor in our community that this didn't happen while the goods still were on the shelves. The Golden Harvest people would have come in and been able to make use of everything that was able to be used at all.

This really was a moral crime, IMO.

Pops
10575
Points
Pops 03/27/13 - 02:31 pm
8
1
From the looks

Of the video most of the consumables appeared to be soft drinks and chips.......Michelle wouldn't approve......

ClearCookies
133
Points
ClearCookies 03/27/13 - 02:36 pm
6
3
Morals...
Unpublished

...what are those; from the looks of it, no one knows what those are anymore.

Fiat_Lux
15913
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/27/13 - 02:53 pm
8
2
@ClearCookies

The moral crime was committed by the person(s) who owned the store's stock. It was pure negligence that something wasn't planned for dealing with it all before it ended up on the street.

Or sheer laziness.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 03/27/13 - 03:09 pm
11
1
Props to the Thompson Company

... for making at least an effort. Wasn't there, but I'm thinking the workers doing the sorting and stacking were paid by Mr. Thompson? While our tax-paid-for public servants (which is an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp) stood around and performed nasal hygiene and navel studies.

Riverman1
87133
Points
Riverman1 03/27/13 - 03:24 pm
10
0
Finally, common sense

Finally, common sense prevails. Hiram Thompson, the president of Thompson Building and Wrecking, for president. Everyone shut up and thank this man for doing the right thing. Please.

happychimer
18686
Points
happychimer 03/27/13 - 03:24 pm
4
0
I read that once the goods

I read that once the goods were on the Thompson trucks, the items then belonged to Thompson.

Rolling Eyes
247
Points
Rolling Eyes 03/27/13 - 03:37 pm
5
0
Its too bad that they weren't

Its too bad that they weren't able to organize this event better to where most items could have been used instead of wasting so much of it...

julie123
43
Points
julie123 03/27/13 - 03:58 pm
2
0
Didn't they belong (prior to

Didn't they belong (prior to removal) to the tenant? Or was that part of the eviction "agreement"....just wondering.

ohcanwesee
20
Points
ohcanwesee 03/27/13 - 04:41 pm
6
2
unbelievable

So Glad they went to the Golden Harvest Food Bank. Not just become a handout or should I say grab out. Well done RCSO.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 03/27/13 - 09:53 pm
2
1
"...Well done RCSO." ?

For standing around while food was hurled in dumpsters. Wow. What cop or cop's wife posted that load?

Willie Loman
267
Points
Willie Loman 03/27/13 - 10:07 pm
3
1
Cooler Heads Prevail

Would have been nice if SunTrust had thought the eviction though before planning to trash all of these valuable resources. I am glad that Mr. Thompson recognized the positive impact that donating the items to local service organizations could have.

Truth Matters
7217
Points
Truth Matters 03/28/13 - 03:38 am
3
0
Thompson

Not trying to take anything away from Thompson Wrecking but the article stated that they were hired by the property manager to dispose of the items. I think any other company would have done the same. No one should expect the Marshalls to do any more than what they did. They were there to over see the eviction not to hand out goods. Let's be fair.

Had the store owner been pro-active since evictions are not done without warnings, he could have sold much of his inventory or made the donation to the non-profit for the tax break. Maybe he had his reasons.

Riverman1
87133
Points
Riverman1 03/28/13 - 07:08 am
1
0
Commercial Loans

I don't know the particulars here, but there's something going on in banking these days. Commercial loans are being reviewed all over the area and unlike home loans, can be increased dramatically by the mortgage holder. If the buyer doesn't agree to the big increase, he is evicted. Maybe some banking insider can explain.

...point to ponder
760
Points
...point to ponder 03/28/13 - 07:55 am
3
0
Great action taken..

Cudos to Thompson Wrecking for thinking on their feet and for doing what was right. Thank you for being a good citizen!

itsanotherday1
45505
Points
itsanotherday1 03/28/13 - 09:08 am
2
0
Exactly Truth

He could have sold the food at increasing markdowns which would have helped himself and the community. (though I heard he couldn't get a WIC? license, which was why he bellied up). At a minimum he should have called Golden Harvest to begin with. He claimed a $100,000 loss on the food; but with a donation he could have likely reduced that.

Just stupid all the way around.

Little Lamb
47012
Points
Little Lamb 03/28/13 - 09:16 am
2
1
Tough Spot

I sympathize with the grocery store owner. It's got to be tough running a retail business in the Laney Walker area. You've got some honest folk giving you business, but you've also got punks robbing you blind. And I heard the owner's remark about not being able to honor WIC on the TV news. I wonder why that is? Did he not fill out the application correctly?

grinder48
2019
Points
grinder48 03/28/13 - 11:06 am
0
0
Too bad
Unpublished

Agree with poster above who wrote that it's too bad Golden Harvest wasn't called to get everything - including perishables - before chunkin' it out. And thanks to Thompson for doing what he did. Too bad these details weren't made public immediately so all the controversy could have been avoided on the day of the eviction.

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 03/28/13 - 12:28 pm
2
0
Good

Now people who really need it will get it through the proper proceedures. I am glad it was donated.

Young Fred
18028
Points
Young Fred 03/28/13 - 12:29 pm
1
0
Drudge Report

Our grocery store eviction story made Drudge.

GeriJ
2
Points
GeriJ 04/07/13 - 07:02 pm
0
0
Chronicle's coverage insensitive, like the bank
Unpublished

The Chronicle evidently thinks it's more important to keep the discarded food from passersby than to leave it alone to be taken away by the people gathered there while it was still fresh since no truck was present to take it.

The bank should have in the first place immediately delivered it to any food bank or stop interfering with people taking it (or worked harder not to evict the store owner in the first place).

There was no reason for the bank to send it to a landfill or for the Chronicle to reference people in the photo spread as "making off" with "merchandise" any more than anyone normally would be called "making off" with any other discarded item left at the curb.

The Chronicle seems to worship big business, banks, and institutions (it was ok with them and the bank for the landfill or the food bank to have it but not people in line) and has contempt for the needy. The newspaper empathizes more with the evicting bank than the evicted owner or the people wishing to prevent waste of the food. And there were not "fights" over the food, just a show of corporate authority - and very bad handling of public relations by Suntrust Bank during an era of negative views of bank CEOs since the subprime mortgage frauds perpetrated by banks on the public that melted down the economy a few years ago. A disasterous public relations move by insensitive bank staff.

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