From the Modesto Bee:
Directors of local charities reacted with surprise and disappointment Thursday after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it would no longer donate food near or past its expiration date to groups feeding the hungry.
A spokesman for the nation’s largest food retailer said the food will be thrown away to protect the corporation from liability in case someone becomes sick from the donated food. The policy will apply to all 1,224 Wal-Marts, 1,929 Wal-Mart Supercenters and 558 Sam’s Clubs.
Tell me again how much Wal-Mart loves the poor.
[Hat tip: CSI Bentonville]
PS If there’s any justice in the world, people will be talking about this long after today is over. If half the blog space devoted to the “Planet of the Apes” story is devoted to this, I think that will happen.
UPDATE: Oh boy, it’s worse than I thought. From the Sacramento Bee (via Wal-Mart Watch; I’m guessing it’s an update of the same story):
Ernie Brown, a spokesman for Sacramentoâ€™s Senior Gleaners, which received about 25,000 pounds of food in 2005 from Samâ€™s Club on Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights, said most food is fine to eat for days after the â€œsell-byâ€ date.
He said Wal-Martâ€™s concerns about liability seem misplaced in light of the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, a federal law passed in 1996 offering food donors wide-ranging protections from civil lawsuits or criminal prosecution. The law states that donors can be held liable only in instances of â€œgross negligence.â€
â€œLord, we get millions and millions of pounds from Raleyâ€™s and Bel-Air and Albertsonâ€™s, and they donâ€™t have a problem understanding the law,â€ Brown said. â€œWhy donâ€™t Wal-Mart and Samâ€™s Club understand the law?”
So they’re either stupid or lying. That’s quite a choice; isn’t it?