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Maybe Bill Can Help?

Posted Mar 13 2013 9:23am
So, I was leaving Costco yesterday after making my monthly family purchases (we've been members since 1999) and I started thinking that I may have to truly leave Costco one day soon, and feeling sad about it. I like Costco. I get lots of organic products there. I like that they pay fair wages, and I like other things about them as a company. It also helps stretch my family's budget when I buy carefully with consideration of what I know my family actually uses. But this fresh produce donation thing (and the fact that Costco doesn't) is really becoming a problem in my head.

It still doesn't make sense to me that there's not a solution (although BJ's Warehouse seemed to figure it out when it embraced fresh food donations in a big way, starting in November, 2011).  As Jeff implies , "Perhaps the solution is in the problem." So I got to thinking about how I have a feeling ( from articles such as this ) that Costco maybe doesn't quite trust the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996. And maybe that's the problem. And how Bill Clinton passed that act. And how Bill Clinton is now heavily involved in helping reduce childhood obesity (which more fresh fruits and veggies to those in need, to the tune of 12 tons a week for just one carload per Costco warehouse, could help do) through his Clinton Foundation. And how maybe he might be able to provide some information to Costco to address its concerns and help it overcome its reluctance to donate its "unsellable" but still edible fruit and vegetable "waste." And how maybe that's the solution.

So I wrote to him.

Dear Clinton Foundation
I have discovered that Costco appears to be the only major food retailer in the U.S. that does not donate its "unsellable" but still edible fresh produce to food banks for distribution to those in need. I have written about this extensively (see here for an overview post). I think there is some concern about liability, and some lack of faith in the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act. Since former President Clinton passed that act, and since he is involved with helping reduce childhood obesity, I thought he might be able to help persuade Costco to change its corporate stance. Thoughts? 

Thank you for all you do.

Learning as I grow,
Pattie Baker

So, we'll see.
P.S. Two of David's "supermarket partners" have asked him to come on Mondays as well as Wednesdays (which is the day of our food pantry), so he has done that for two weeks so far (pictured is what he got the first week, which he brought to our food pantry ). This week, he started bringing the Monday haul to the the Fugees Academy , the only school exclusively for refugee-children-of-war in the United States, for whom we helped build a garden almost a year ago to the day. He brought about 225 pounds of potatoes, grapes, greens, and more, which will be used in school lunches and sent home with the students for their families. None was from Costco.  Imagine what is possible.
eclectic food-for-thought for a changing world
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