Saturday, November 1st, 2014

“American Dream”: Food loaded into Dumpsters while Hundreds of Hungry Americans Restrained by Police

Sarah Carlson
pslweb.org
April 8th, 2013
Reader Views: 39,611

grocery-store-evicted

Hundreds of poor people waiting outside of a closed grocery store for the possibility of getting the remaining food is not the picture of the “American Dream.” Yet on March 23, outside the Laney Walker Supermarket in Augusta, Ga., that is exactly what happened.

Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the storeowner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank.

The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news “a potential for a riot was extremely high.”

“People got children out here that are hungry, thirsty,” local resident Robertstine Lambert told Fox54 in Augusta. “Why throw it away when you could be issuing it out?”

SunTrust bank is trying to confuse the issue and not take direct responsibility for their actions. Their media relations officer Mike McCoy, stated, “We are working with store suppliers as well as law enforcement to dispose of the remaining contents of the store and secure the building.” Yet he also said that the food never belonged to SunTrust Bank.

There is no need to sugar coat what happened. Teresa Russell, chief deputy of the Marshal’s Office in Richmond County, said the owner of the building ordered that the food be taken to the landfill. Some people even followed the truck to the landfill and were still turned away.

In Richmond County, there are about 20 evictions per day, and the area surrounding the supermarket is one of the poorest in the state. According to the last available data, the poverty rate is 41 percent. Many people in that parking lot probably knew all too well how evictions work, and were in desperate need of the food assistance.

This story is not some bizarre exception. It reeks of the truth of capitalism and is strikingly similar to the H&M scandal that broke in 2010 when clothes were being shredded before being thrown away, so as to make sure the value of the merchandise was unaffected.

In a capitalist society, the motive behind the production of food is not to feed people, housing is not made to give them shelter, clothing is not made to keep them warm, and health care is not offered primarily to keep people healthy. All of these things, which are and should be viewed as basic rights, are nothing other than commodities—to be bought and sold—from which to make a profit. If a profit cannot be made, usually due to overproduction in relation to the market, the commodity is considered useless by the capitalist and destroyed.

In this case, it appears the bank simply did not care. For the banks that have made their profits through evictions and foreclosures, it is little surprise that they showed no remorse in leaving people staring in disbelief, with empty bags, as they watched the food that could be feeding their families dumped into a landfill instead.

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Contributed by Sarah Carlson of pslweb.org.

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  • SKIP

    I GUARANTEE that one of these “minorities” would have gotten “sick” from the food and went flank speed for the ghetto lottery. The photo looks to have been taken in Porte Au Prince, Haiti instead of somewhere in Amurkistan.

    • ILUVMYAK

      Bingo, Skip!

    • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004951784152 Shawn Carroll

      I GUARANTEE that you are a racist piece of shit and do not even understand the “term” non perishable..

      • Anonymous

        Why does it always have to be race? It’s what companies have to do because of the sue happy society we live in. I’ll bet somewhere in that crowd is a lawyer>

    • Anonymous

      Welcome to a 3rd world Nation. Wear no different from all the other Countries

    • foShizzle

      Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

      • Yo

        He said nothing about Communism. He is talking about Socialism. Why must the attack of Capitalism always end with Communist. Well Communism is a great idea. It bases on treating everyone equal. However Socialism is even a better idea. It implements the creativity of Capitalism and the equal grounds of Communism. Socialism for the Win!

    • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1338944095 Azazel Gantt

      Well “Hunker” it dose not look like that is the case. Would it have matter to the bank if the people Wanted to haul out the food? Hell no the bank did this because theirs is no profit to be gain. They would weather pay the disposal people then to see shit go out for free. Wake the fuck up!!!

      • Bill

        “Wake the fuck up?” You are delusional. The only reason the bank did this was liability. If anything happened to any of those people taking the food, or eating the food, they would be liable. Scumbag lawyers did this, not greedy banks. If there weren’t scumbags looking to sue for profit, this wouldn’t happen.

        • Daddio

          Really? You really think that people who would line up outside a closing market hoping for free food for hungry children have the resources to hire “scumbag lawyers”? The food had already been promised for distribution. The bank owned the building but not the food. Even “scumbag lawyers” wouldn’t have had a case.
          It was greed. Pure and simple. And there’s much too much of it in this country.

        • Blakeula

          yep

  • Z

    I have a friend who is a member of SunTrust I showed him this article, he took it to SunTrust today and closed all his accounts. BOOM THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN!

  • Locus

    I would have directed the people to form a single file line surrounding the goods and then given a signal to start gathering. It would have been a mad rush but everyone would have a direction of retreat. The tactic would also yield the highest level of cooperation as everyone would implicitly understand the purpose of the instruction, and at all times they are in plaint sight of the goods and each other.

    But in the way it played out was awkward and insulting to human dignity. In the end, these needy people demonstrated that they possess a great deal of restraint and should be recognized as such.

    The police should have placed themselves around the building itself, remaining plainly visible to ensure the peace and not taken any direct position on what was happening in the parking lot. This would be a completely defensible action on their part, in answer to the bank’s objection they could merely say “we are neither sufficiently staffed nor legally bound to evict trespassers from an area that is clearly intended for public use, lacks a barrier fence, and has no posted ‘no trespassing’ signs.”

    Case closed, everybody wins.

    • Anonymous

      Really??? What about the government poisoning us everyday…Monasanto???

  • http://T Evie

    «Imagine if someone gets sick.» If they sued it would take years and years and probabilly go through arbitration. I think the old food was already tossed. Most stores change the expiration date any way to make their shrink appear smaller.
    Even a rat has more rights than the american citizen as he would have been able to dine.

    • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000284083231 Julia Hobert

      I work for a grocery store and have never seen us change the expiration date. We don’t want our customers getting sick and suing us. That has got to be the most idiotic thing I have ever read.

      • Jean

        Julia,
        Havent’ SEEN it when I was there – but I know it happened! It was no secret amongst the staff. (And this was a high-end store, Kings.)
        Sh!t happens, I get it – and most food lasts longer than the expir. date. But not by a lot.
        Some places are so on the line they can’t afford the shrink. Others just don’t give a F*ck. You got sick? Prove the cause. Then prove, after it’s tied to the food we sold, that we did anything wrong.
        Not much chance, even if people testify. :-(

  • Michael

    The bank or store management could have easily had the people sign a waiver stating that thestore can’t be resposible for the quality of the food. There is always a way to protect themselves. In other time, they would have a shitload of attorneys writing up a bunch of bullshit paperwork to decrease liability. What a disgusting situation. United States spends billions a month (money we don’t really have) to fund meaningless conflicts around the globe, Bernanke is flooding the economy with billions in QE money and our citizens are starving in poor communities or in disaster areas. This country and it’s bullshit politics and dumb ass business executives make me want to puke.

  • Milo Mindbender

    None of the bystanders look underfed, and they didn’t support the store while it was open why should they benefit now??. The bigger blame should rest on the church(unnamed) for not bothering to pick up the donation of food, if it had been a check they probabily would have showed up. Why are these people so angry, nothing was taken from them, and they were not promised anything.

    • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000284083231 Julia Hobert

      I doubt a church was even contacted. This tactic is used to make people believe that capitalism is bad and communism is good.

    • SKIP

      They’re black, they are ENTITLED! at least they feel they are.

    • Blakeula

      seriously. wtf happened to the chirch people?! praying won’t move that food.

  • Jean

    Health care is NOT a right.
    (Access to it probably SHOULD be, you just need to PAY for it.)

    • Anonymous

      That was an extremely close minded statement….

  • http://T Evie

    Most of you miss the point. The food had been discarded. I know lots who make good money scrapping. Local law enforcement makes it difficult for them. You certainly cannot begrudge someone taking trash.
    Walk through any store, go through produce and dairy. I once picked up a juice that expired a week ago, came back a week later and the old juice was still there. Espeacially look at labels on backery items, does it appear that labels are on top of each other?
    Corporations are all about profit, keeping shrink low earns bonuses and such.
    I heard rumors, some shrink is almost 0.
    I saw an article where a big store was caught doing this.
    Go drink your kool aide.

    • Someology

      You people are truly making me admire my local grocery stores, where I have never seen labels stuck on top the sell by dates, only the original date printed by the manufacturer. Why do you people in other parts of the country stand for such behavior? Let the store know that is why you are taking your business elsewhere, and tell everyone you know!

      • Jean

        “By the manufacturer?” What do you eat, if I may ask? Can’t be meat or veggies, must all be boxed…

  • Jon

    While i feel what the bank did i certainly can’t say that the tone of this article is about concern for the people who needed the free food and didn’t get it. The little, idiotic anti-capitalist diatribe ruins the article. Especially when Capitalism had nothing to do with what happened here.

  • http://thedailysheeple.com Thinker

    “It reeks of the truth of capitalism”
    BS ALERT
    Attempted bogus ‘socialism’ pandering. The problem isn’t ‘capiltalism’. Deadbeats don’t have a ‘right’ to the store’s property. If you want socialism be prepared to give up where you live and live where the Govmt TELLS you to live and what they TELL you to eat and everything else.
    CORPORATISM and tax loopholes and Trillions for fake WAR are the problem, not ‘capitalism’. What an entitlement shill. How many of those people were on the DOLE and made kids anyway. How many took out liar loans.
    Watch out for controlled opposition phony solutions after the collapse, like ‘let’s all be socialist now’ – AFTER the billioniares stole it all, so they kill the middle class, while the deadbeats cheer, not realizing it will be the end of them too. See This – videosfortruth.com/checkmate-to-humanity/
    Don’t buy into class warfare OTHER than against BILLIONAIRES and TRILLIONAIRES like the bankers and warmonger ‘defense contractors’ like cheney/haliburton made 38 billion on the fake Iraq ‘wars’.

    • Ria

      Capitalism is part of what you describe above. Read the history of capitalism. It starts in England.

      • Ben Ballard

        Yeah, that’s because we OWNED 75% of the world from a tiny Island nation. But like ALL things that go wrong,you blame the originators of the knowledge and NOT those that implement it after it has been passed on to you. The IDEA of Capitalism isn’t Evil,the PEOPLE that use it are. Look to your OWN backyard before you blame those that started 75% of the World’s modern society…..

    • SKIP

      And their protected species of course.

  • Wild Bill

    This article is pure rubbish in that it demonizes the free market system while utterly failing to address the real problem here.The reason these people are mired in poverty is because they are still on the socialist government plantation where big brother takes care of everything and no one takes personal responsibility for their situation.Keep voting democrat and stay hungry,or get a job,any job and move on up.

    • Ria

      Wild Bill. With all due respect you are delusion and do not have the whole story. Do some historical research and get the real facts. If u are listening to main stream media you are being lied to. It’s that simple.

  • http://www.lewrockwell.com Noah

    Has everyone forgotten that this happened on a far more massive scale during the Great Depression as part of FDR’s horrific New Deal? As people were going hungry, livestock and agricultural products were destroyed to prop up prices for farms. That can be described with many words, but “capitalism” isn’t one of them.

  • Ria

    Get ready for a revolution. SunTrust should be fined for crimes against humanity. It’s that simple.

  • Boetica

    You have a very poor grasp of what capitalism is.

  • http://T Evie

    The only capitalism is a person who creates a good or service for sale.
    Corporatism is not in the category, they steal, lay people off, and take employee retirements counting this as profit, when in reality they may sell little.
    Bundling debt and selling it to suckers is not capitalism, the taxpayers pick up the debt.
    Poor risks were sought out.
    Capitalism is earning an honest profit for honest work.
    The food was on the outside of the store. A giveaway. Maybe it was to be shipped overseas. That is how logistics work now. Nothing is ever discounted, because if they do not sell it here, it goes some where else. Different currencies and such.
    People are not really allowed to participate in the economy unless it is their way.

    • ginger firestone

      Thanks, Evie, for the term ‘corporatism.’ I am not anticapitalist, but didn’t have a good term for what I oppose.

  • Patriot

    Large quantities of food have been destroyed by government to prop up prices in years past. Milk, cheese, fruit, beef, chicken and others.

    • Mavrick

      No joke, its like the farmers being paid to NOT grow crops. Our local WalMart actually hires off duty cops to monitor the trash when they dispose of expired foods and products while waiting for the disposal company to pick up the dumpsters. We saw it and thought they had thrown away damaged, open or display items and asked one of the LEOs we knew and he told us the deal. I was hoping to dumpster dive and get some items to repair-salvage and resell. *shrug*

  • JD

    Every depositor should just withdraw all accounts!

  • JD

    Every depositor should withdraw all accounts then
    the bank would know the feeling.

  • SKIP

    So many comments about wasting food but you MUST realize the litiguous nature of “minorities” They sue anyone and everyone at the drop of a reason or even NO reason in their never ending efforts to hit the ghetto lottery and will stoop to any level as these “people” in most cases have no shame or decency..Call it racissssssss if you will, personally I don’t GAF because I have seen it with my own eyes and was on the receiving end of it once but common sense won and so did I in court. If you own a business and have a “they deserve it” attitude, beware!!

  • http://www.norcalrobotics.com G S

    Man, that Church is to blame. Way to set a good example. I’m sure Jesus is disappointed with you, letting all those people go hungry for no reason, and breaking your agreement to be there to handle the food. It will be written in the big book on Judgement Day.

    • Anonymous

      The food was taking to Golden harvest and the church did see to it that the needed got it

  • http://T Evie

    Minorities sue for dumb things? I recall a politican’s wife sued for gaining weight. People may be following the leadership of our elite.
    Banks and corporations sue each other for paperwork and problems they create for themselves, we get to pick up the tab.

  • Justin

    Why do you say this:

    //For the banks that have made their profits through evictions and foreclosures, it is little surprise that they showed no remorse in leaving people staring in disbelief, with empty bags, as they watched the food that could be feeding their families dumped into a landfill instead. //

    After saying this:

    //Teresa Russell, chief deputy of the Marshal’s Office in Richmond County, said the owner of the building ordered that the food be taken to the landfill.//?

  • http://T Evie

    So the taxpayers get to pay for law enforcement to carry food to a landfill? Letting the people take it would have been less expensive and the personnel would have been available for emergency situations.

    • SKIP

      HAHAHA Sorry Evie, you mean “emergency situations” like “minorities” rioting, ya know, the usual thing “minorities” do when they don’t get their way.

  • Showlag

    I wish Muslims who are at the front lines to win the war against Illuminati, bankers, companies and even our own social believes which corrupted our human nature to a point where we will stand still or even take our phones and video people fighting, killing each-other, rob, harm and we are just watching. We became poor the day we accepted the deal of Satan (individualism, sex revolutions, freedom to harm others, freedom to lie and be lied to) the result (the United Slaves of America). We need to undo all this miserable state we cased it upon our selves. Those who we hate the most might have the answer we don’t. That is why we were programmed to hate them in first place! while many people from allover the world with different background are joining them! I used to think Americans are the heroes, but now, I understand that our heroes can not past through the screens. The true heroes are winning.

    • Showlag

      Thanks for adding a fitting picture for me, yes I am a sheep lol But things are not the same now!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1048474466 Warrick Coe

    The article is certainly thought provoking. A grocery company is forced to “sell back to the bank” because it can not meets its debts. Poverty in the area is at 41%. Rather than risk any legal backlash the bank orders the food to be “disposed of”. Local police protect the corporate interest from the hungry. How much farther can we descend down a road where we are all made slaves waiting on handouts from our masters?

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649820035 Rohit Enviro-Mehta

    This is absurd. I work for a food bank and I know how important food is to families who are struggling.

    Shame on SunTrust Bank, and the outgoing management of Laney Walker Supermarket for such a disrespectful action.

  • Anonymous

    It was the store’s right to throw the food away. Doesn’t mean they aren’t terrible people for doing it. Instead of toting that the government needs to change things, change them yourself. Boycott sun trust banks. Inform people of their terrible ethics. Change will happen, and should happen, socially. Not governmentally.

  • Brandon In Augusta,Ga

    The rest of the story is not published. The food was taken to the landfill, and sorted through. The spoiled food was left at the land fill and the food and merchandise that was salvageable was donated to the local food bank and other charities in Augusta.

    • ginger firestone

      Thanks Brandon, but no one will listen to you now. These posters have gone off on their trips.

  • http://netwrok.us netwrok

    What a jerk move!! I’m going right now to close my SunTrust accounts. I will not give my business to such a vile company.

  • http://T Evie

    People who intend to throw things away, order a dumpster or bag it up and arrange for it to be picked up.
    So typical of corporate America, it is trash when someone wants it for free.
    Gee how many bonuses, free healthcare and perks are given away to people who seem to be making problems a lot worse?

  • William

    US inches closer to Civil Unrest each day. I didnt know we had such bastards in USA Cnned and jar goods are good for a long while read the dates of exp, what a waste of resources

  • Mike

    Maybe, just maybe the bank didn’t want to deal with the litigation if someone got sick. Why would they care otherwise?

  • http://n/a Jean Cottam

    Disgusting. One wants to throw up, both as a result of some responses and the situation described. Greed and inhumanity is ruling the world. Capitalism is just as bad as is communism. All isms are bad!

    • Jean

      Capitalism is actually the least-bad of them all so far… :-P

  • NotWarren

    And one of the big shareholders in Suntrust bank is Warren Buffett, who just talks a lot about higher taxes on super rich.

  • http://T Evie

    «Maybe the bank did not want to get sued?» You certainly must be joking, have you seen all of the foreclosed homes the banks will not pay the taxes or upkeep? What about foreclosure help, that turned into a new mechanism for debt slavism?
    Sued, why they should pay their depositors and close. Nothing but glorified storage sheds, seeking high rents to use your money.
    No, the banks wanted the easy way out, some taxpayer welfare or some tax credit for the food.

  • Anonymous

    Sickening!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1310154874 Oso Wallman

    dig a little deeper folks and ask why the bank or any event that comes to this doesn’t contact the FOOD BANK?!! http://www.goldenharvest.org/

  • Daddio

    We are quickly becoming a divided country; “two Americas,” as John Edwards used to put it. With the disappearance of the middle class, we now have only two groups in this country: the NEEDY and the GREEDY.
    We must change this.

  • http://T Evie

    I bet if this happened in Philly the people would have rioted. All of the flash mobbing and gun violence has gotten worse.

  • Blakeula

    It’s a potential Liability, and that’s enough. I used to work at Albertsons and we would have to cut the gallon jugs of milk and spill the goods before throwing it away. Milk that was only about to hit it’s “best by date”. This article also hastily blames Capitalism as the underlying source of this pointless waste of resources. It is forced and panders to folk who prey on simple, knee jerk-thinking. I could argue many points that would suggest the exact opposite is the problem. The fear of penalties is what sent that food to the grave. If it were a more of a free market (capitalist) environment and the people who took the food knowing the risk did it anyway without the ability to sue the company it came from then this story would have ended with a “fat and happy party” instead of a “slow-boiling-Let’s-Riot” kinda party. I also worked at the cities Resource Management Department and dealt with trash and landfills for a good while…Lots of claims against the city for lots of bad reasons. Believe it or not, someone suing because “I ate from your garbage and got sick” isn’t too far fetched. …in fact, it is the basis for my future retirement.

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