Cambridge store gives away food to community members in need

Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 4:21 PM EDT
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CAMBRIDGE, Vt. (WCAX) - While many communities across the region are focusing on recovery, many local businesses have been hit with flooded basements and lost inventory. But it’s not all going to waste.

“We saw that they were giving away food. We had a cooler. We wanted to bring it to the food shelter to see if we could help someone,” said Darby Mayville of Essex.

Dozens of people flocked to the Cambridge Village Market Wednesday to fill bags with free food. Mayville says she wanted to show her kids how Vermont responds to a disaster. “We take care of our neighbors,” she said.

Ron Frey, the market’s co-owner, says his grocery store flooded, forcing them to shut down the store’s power. He said all the refrigerated food would be better off going to the people rather than the trash. “All the perishable items were going to go to waste anyways. We’d much rather have the community be able to take as much as they can. It’s just the right thing to do,” he said.

And community members like Nicky Tyler of Fairfax say it will be a big help. “I am a daycare teacher in Williston, so just kind of like a community thing. It’s definitely getting harder with inflation. So for them to just give away stuff, is kind of super cool,” she said.

Frey hopes his good deed will bring him good luck. After the storm flooded the basement, it created a lot of work for the staff. They spent most of Wednesday morning pumping eight feet of water. He’s on a wait list with a hundred others to get water damage repaired. “We are not in a flood zone, but apparently we are. So, we do not have flood insurance,” he said. “I am definitely one of those people that believes everything happens for a reason. We just have to figure out what that reason is.”

Frey says they hope to get all the water out of the basement by Thursday but still have no timeline for how long the recovery will take.