Stop & Shop donating unsold food as strike continues

QUINCY, Mass. — 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 Jennifer Brogan told Boston 25 News.

"It is Stop & Shop that's proactively reaching out to our regional food bank partners like the Greater Boston Food Bank, Worcester County Food Bank, and Western Mass Food Bank as well as local food pantries to make sure that food does not go to waste,” Brogan said.

Brogan said efforts to help local food pantries have not been put on hold because of the strike. Contract negotiations between the company and the union representing workers remain at a standstill as the strike approaches one week since workers walked off the job.

“We are offering even more donations as to work to ensure that fresh produce, dairy, meat and other products that are not being sold in our stores are donated to our neighbors in need,” Brogan said. “Helping those who are food insecure is an important part of being a good neighbor in the communities that we serve.”

Some local food pantries are opening up their doors to Stop & Shop workers while they’re on strike.

Peg Struzik, founder of Fire House Food Pantry in Pembroke, told Boston 25 News both Stop & Shop stores in Pembroke and the store in Halifax have donated all of their meat to her pantry. Pantry workers picked up about 50 cases of meat.

“They don’t want the food to spoil,” Struzik said. “They know we’re open for the workers so they called us.”

Fire House Food Pantry is open on Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Braintree Town Councilor Sean Powers said the Marge Crispin Center is offering assistance to Stop & Shop workers who are out on strike. The non-profit center on Pond Street in Braintree operates as a food pantry on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

>>RELATED: 'Everybody is hurting': Stop & Shop workers, company far from making pact
Boston 25 News reached out to the Greater Boston Food Bank and Worcester County Food Bank for comment. Stop and Shop President Mark McGowan has served on the Greater Boston Food Bank's Board of Directors since 2015.
Nearly 31,000 workers at Stop & Shop stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut represented by the United Food & Commercial Workers local unions walked off the job on April 11 after contract talks deadlocked.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who tweeted support for the striking workers last week, is expected to speak at a rally in Dorchester Thursday.