When the power went out at Nature’s Bin, the clock started ticking on the shelf-life of the food in the store.
As the hours became days, officials at the natural foods grocery store made a decision to donate food that may perish.
In all, during the past few days, Nature’s Bin donated nearly 2,000 pounds of food —worth an estimated $10,000 — to several organizations including a Cleveland hunger center and the American Red Cross emergency shelter at Garfield Middle School.
“At least it went to a good cause,” said Scott Duennes, the executive director of Nature’s Bin.
He said that the frozen food “held its temperature” for about 24 hours after the store lost power at around 5 p.m. Monday.
“Once it started to get soft we had to give it a new home,” said Duennes, noting that everything in the store was inventoried.
“The community has supported us for the last 21 years, so to give back is a good thing.”
On Wednesday, Nature’s Bin donated 38 large plastic bags — filled with frozen fruit, veggies, pastas, pizzas, burritos, rice bowls, pot pies and more — to St. Augustine Hunger Center in Cleveland.
Then, on Thursday, the non-profit grocery store gave two truckloads of prepared dinners and bakery goods to the city's Division of Aging, with the rest going to the American Red Cross emergency shelter at Garfield Middle School.
Duennes said that the losses were presented to an insurance adjuster, and he’s hopeful that the store will be able to recoup some of its losses.
“Other large chains might throw it in a dumpster, throw some bleach on it so people don’t try to go after it,” said Duennes. “We’re trying to do some good. Hopefully, it will be a win for us — maybe it will come back to us.”
Mayor Michael Summers called the donations an “incredibly generous” move by Nature’s Bin.
“You’ve got a needy group donating to another needy group,” he said. “That’s just very generous.”