A 31-hour power outage at Trader Joe's in Salem after a windstorm last week led to the donation of thousands of dollars' worth of food for the hungry in the area.
Marion-Polk Food Share, St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, Keizer Food Pantry, Union Gospel Mission and the women's shelter Grace House all received refrigerated and frozen products from the store that couldn't be preserved during the April 7-8 outage.
"We're proud of what were able to do despite the circumstances," said Shane Fowler, manager of the Salem Trader Joe's on Commercial Street SE.
Locally and nationally Trader Joe's has a long-running policy to donate products that are not fit for sale but are safe for consumption. In January, the company announced that it had donated more than $341 million worth of product to food banks in 2016, up from $321 million the previous year.
Fowler said the Salem store donated $610,648 worth of product last year. The store works with local food banks and nonprofits to facilitate ongoing donations. Marion-Polk Food Share and Grace House are regular beneficiaries.
The most recent donations were made possible because of the efforts of a dedicated crew, led by Alix Slayter. She made calls to area food pantries to let them know about the glut of products because of the power outage.
"Frankly, if she wouldn't have stepped up, it wouldn't have happened," Fowler said.
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