York County nonprofit feels loss of Earth Fare stores closing

York County nonprofit feels loss of Earth Fare stores closing

FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Come March 2, 3,000 employees of Earth Fare will be looking for a new job. Beth Robertson, Wellness Manager at Earth Fare in Fort Mill, is one of them.

“It was very traumatic. This was more than just a health food store,” Robertson said. “We put our heart and soul, each and everyone us did, into this store and into the company.”

“The effect is far reaching. It’s not just about us, it’s about that whole wellness world. That little bubble that burst, so to speak.”

In addition to jobs lost, nonprofits that received support from Earth Fare are also feeling the impact of the store’s closure. The Community Café in Fort Mill received thousands of dollars worth of leftover goods from Earth Fare every week.

The Community Café is a nonprofit that provides free, hot meals to people in York County three day a week. In addition to a hot lunch, the Café provides free groceries to patrons with no questions asked.

“They might be taking food home for the entire week,” Assistant to the President of the Community Café Mary Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen says Earth Fare offered its day-old baked goods, frozen proteins, and other overstocked items to the Community Café.

“Staple items that don’t seem like a big deal, but when you can’t afford to pay your electric bill, you are definitely not going to be buying ketchup and mustard,” Rasmussen said. “I would say over the past year that they’ve been open it’s probably $25,000 worth of goods that we will not get next year.”

Rasmussen says they are looking for other corporate sponsor to supplement the loss they will feel with Earth Fare’s absence.

For more information about the community café visit: www.communitycafeusa.com

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