Responding to reports that the New Martinsville Wal-Mart threw away food and didn't give it to those in need during the recent disaster, Dianna Gee, a spokesperson for the corporation, wants people to know that Wal-Mart did their part to serve the community.
In the aftermath of the June 29 storm that left many without power, she said, "As part of our commitment to food safety, we always properly dispose of fresh, refrigerated and frozen foods impacted by power outages. In this case, we only threw away dairy and deli products which were deemed unsafe for public consumption. Because this store is currently undergoing a renovation, we were fortunate to have four refrigerator trucks on site where we stored our frozen and refrigerated products to ensure they were kept at the proper temperature level. We would never want to risk the public's health by donating food which does not meet our requirements for food safety."
According to Gee, in times of disaster, Wal-Mart works with emergency officials and disaster relief organizations to identify the immediate needs of an area so they can direct their donations to the areas with the most need. "In this case, we worked with local emergency management officials in New Martinsville to donate one truckload of produce to the community. We realize they are the experts in the community and they know where the donations could best impact the areas in need."
Gee also noted her corporation handed out approximately 4,000 bags of ice and numerous cleaning supplies to the community. "In addition, we gave three air conditioning units to a nearby nursing home," she added.
"We're proud of our disaster relief efforts relating to the recent storms and power outages. Our store managers and associates have worked tirelessly to help us donate more than $100,000 in food and water donations for five states affected by the recent power outages. In West Virginia alone, we donated nine truckloads of water and two truckloads of food, including the one truckload in New Martinsville," Gee said.