Portland police were called to a local grocery and dry-goods store to keep residents from raiding its dumpsters, which were filled with potentially spoiled food discarded because a storm-caused power outage, several outlets reported.
Posters on social media alerted people to the discarded food at the Fred Meyer store in the Hollywood West section of the city, which resulted in about 50 people showing up, local NBC network affiliate KGW reported.
After store employees tried to prevent the would-be dumpster raiders from getting to the perishable items, police were called in.
Employees feared a physical confrontation, and police ordered the crowd to disperse or face possible arrest for trespassing.
No arrests were made and police left after about an hour and a half.
However, employees said some of the crowd returned and threatened them.
Police apparently told Fred Meyer they would not return unless there was the risk of serious injury.
“We appreciate people speaking out against hunger,” Fred Meyer said in a statement. “We get it, throwing away food is never a good thing. Unfortunately, some perishable food that requires refrigeration at our Hollywood store was out of temperature for a protracted period of time.
“This was due to a weather-related power outage, and it is not safe for consumption. Out an abundance of caution, we are disposing of the product to keep people safe. We engaged law enforcement, as the safety of our associates and customers is always our top priority.”
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