Stop & Shop donates unsold food to local pantries
Stop & Shop workers, including those of Wareham Local 328, are still on strike and have no intention of letting down until the ongoing labor negotiations with the Massachusetts-based grocery giant reach a common agreement.
The protests have won the support of many customers, who have chosen not to cross strikers’ picket lines. With the Easter holiday beginning this week, many Wareham residents are choosing to shop elsewhere, while perishable meats, seafood and produce are approaching their expiration dates in the deserted aisles.
Stop & Shop is working to donate food that’s not sold in stores during the work stoppage to regional food banks and local food pantries, company spokesperson Amy Thibault said in her email to Wareham Week.
“Since our store associates went on strike last week, we have been working with the Greater Boston Food Bank, as well as local food pantries, to donate as much food as possible to our neighbors in need,” said Thibault.
Since the store has been donating “excess food such as meat, dairy, and produce,” customers are left with a narrow choice of perishable products, most of which are heavily discounted.
Today, four pounds of angus beef steak, which was sold for $30.26 prior to the protests, now carries a price tag of $18.24. Similarly, six chicken drumsticks are on sale for $2.44 but had an original price of $4.88. The store currently does not sell fresh seafood products.
Since walking off the job last Thursday amid stalled labor talks, about 31,000 workers in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, represented by five local chapters of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) have now been out of work for seven days.
The UFCW president from Local 328, Timothy Melie, wrote on the organization’s website that UFCW members met with the store’s representatives to find a resolution to the conflict, but little progress has been made.
“I can’t say much changed after those meetings, but it is always positive when both sides continue to speak. I resolve to meet anytime with the company to talk anytime in an effort to get to a resolution,” Melie said in his post.