Charlottesville Wegmans feeds first responders in rally aftermath

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. -- Wegmans Food Markets in Charlottesville, Virginia prepared and donated food for first responders in the aftermath of a rally where white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters, leaving one dead and more than two dozen injured.

The grocery store is located several miles from the site of the protests, Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale said Monday.

According to a Facebook post from Metro Richmond Fire Incidents, Charlottesville store managers halted daily work to prepare food for first responders working to quell the unrest.

First responders entered the store late Saturday planning to purchase several pizzas, drinks, but left with a vehicle filled with donated hot food, chips and drinks.

"What transpired over the next 24 hours, as I found myself tasked with the greatest logistical challenge I've had yet, was nothing short of amazing," the post read.  Store managers halted their daily work and "dedicated themselves and other staff to cooking for us. They fired up all their ovens, called in extra bakers and even emptied their freezers to cook boxed pizza for us when they ran out of dough. The night manager stayed till 1 a.m. The opening manager had carts lined up for us with breakfast, sorted by delivery location. The store practically refused to take a payment until we told them we wouldn't leave until they did."

In all, food prepared at the store fed more than 1,000 police officers and National Guard members, "amid absolute chaos and with no advanced notice," according to the post. The deed culminated Sunday morning with 500 Virginia State Police troopers "walking into their location, bereft with grief, yet so thankful to see a 20-foot long counter lined with breakfast."

"No matter what evil events take place in the world, there will always be acts of service and kindness that rise up and triumph over it," the post read.

Natale confirmed the actions of employees and declined to comment further, stating that the post "speaks for itself."

VFREILE@Gannett.com

Democrat & Chronicle


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