Luckily, Western Mass wasn’t. However, the eye of the storm did batter New York and New Jersey.
Yet, in the days leading up to landfall, it was unclear how far and how severe Sandy’s impact would be.
Like many stores, Whole Foods in Hadley saw their fair share of customers scrambling to get supplies. “It was very chaotic, but we didn’t run out of anything. We had plenty of everything on the shelves, and now we’re just resuming business as usual,” said Jaimee Rondeau, the store’s Marketing Team Leader.
Rondeau says Whole Foods decided to give away free ice because those without power started to realize it’s the one thing they needed that they didn’t have. “We brought in a ton of ice in anticipation of the storm, and a lot of people bought some, but a lot of people bought some, and a lot of people thought they might not need it; they’d rely on generators. We had been hearing through our social media channels that a lot of people needed ice. So we thought, why not just give some free ice away?”
So Rondeau went on the store’s Twitter to get the word out about the giveaway. As anticipated, it spread, and they’re seeing the 300 bags they have disappear. Folks in the neighborhood say it’s encouraging to see businesses help out in times like these. “I think that actually is nice. They’re actually trying to give back to the community. Fortunately I didn’t lose mine, and I feel sorry for those who did, but I think that’s nice,” said Terrence Ware. “It seems like the right thing to do. They get benefit from being here; we go and spend our money here, so it’s a way for them to help us out,” Terry Briggs added.
Amherst Town Manager John Musante says at one point there were 360 outages due to Sandy. He adds that it’s nothing new for businesses to give back. Businesses pitched in during last October’s Snowstorm serving as cell charging stations, and community gathering places.
Whole Foods will be giving out ice again all day tomorrow.