After Refrigerator Malfunction, Trader Joe’s Donates 35,000 Pounds Of Food To Homeless Shelter

"Every opportunity we have to uplift somebody's dignity through food, we aim to do it."

Their Speculoos Cookie Butter. Their wide selection of cheeses and cheap, but delicious wine. Their amazing customer service. Their commitment to servicing different dietary needs. The fact that they pay their employees livable wages and employ ethical business practices

There's a lot of reasons to love Trader Joe's. But here's one more to add to your list. 

Last week, the Trader Joe's grocery store in Kalamazoo, Mich. had a refrigeration malfunction. After realizing their refrigeration system unexpectedly went down, the store decided to donate 35,000 pounds of food valued at $60,000 to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, a local shelter that serves homeless or abused men, women, and children. 


Sean Clune, assistant manager at the Trader Joe's store, told MLive Michigan that the refrigeration system was down for about an hour, but the donated food was all within safety standards. According to Greg Weaver, director of food service at Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, the donation was largest he'd ever seen. 

The food donations included ribeye steaks, salmon fillets, high-quality cheese, fresh produce, and more. 

"It's one thing to eat food that gets you by. It's another thing to eat food that ministers to your humanity," Weaver told MLive Michigan. "Every opportunity we have to uplift somebody's dignity through food, we aim to do it. Trader Joe's helped us accomplish that." 

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"We are so sorry to hear that Trader Joe's #708 refrigeration system went down yesterday, but we are so thankful that in the midst of their crisis Trader Joe's chose to donate thousands of pounds of food to us," the mission wrote on Facebook. "We are so thankful for the support we have in our community to help feed and provide for the homeless of Kalamazoo."

In addition the its most recent delivery, Trader Joe's gives food to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission every Saturday as its company policy to donate food daily to local shelters to help clear their shelves. 

"Everything that we deem is able to be consumed safely we donate to our neighbors and we're really happy to participate in helping the community in that way," Trader Joe's Store Captain Daniel Sorscher told Fox 17

We hope that more grocery stores and restaurants take notice of the positive example set by Trader Joe's. 

Cover image via Ken Wolter /


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