Trader Joe’s is giving away groceries after the refrigerator runs out

A viral video showing Trader Joe’s refrigeration system failure and the generosity that followed has captured the attention of millions.

The video, posted by user @registerednerd_ on Friday, shows Trader Joe’s staff giving away cold or frozen items due to the broken refrigeration system

The filming customer asks the staff to explain the situation to the camera because “people won’t believe her”.

The employee wrapping the free groceries replies, “So our refrigeration is down, so we’re giving away anything cold or frozen.”


The random trip to Trader Joe’s turned into a blessing 😇

♬ Original sound – Pyxis Princess

The customer then points the camera at the point-of-sale terminal and shows it’s up to a whopping $2,817. She says, “So that’s everyone who’s checked out of this registry so far today?”

One employee replies, “That’s it,” while another adds, “We help everyone.”

The video quickly gained traction on TikTok, garnering more than 5.7 million views in less than a day, with many people expressing admiration for the generosity and selflessness of the store staff. It’s unclear which Trader Joe’s location encountered this issue, and @registerednerd_ doesn’t explain which city she lives in via TikTok, especially since the California-based grocery store operates in more than 40 states plus the District of Columbia.

“Thank you Trader Joe’s for donating this to customers in need rather than just throwing it away,” says one commenter.

According to an RTS article on food waste in America, “roughly 30 percent of the food in American grocery stores is wasted.”

“I got caught unplugging the freezer at Trader Joe’s and waiting,” joked another commenter.

However, not everyone was happy with Trader Joe’s, with some claiming they should give the supplies to those most in need. One commenter noted, “Should be helping the homeless rather than the customers who can afford the food….”

The Daily Dot reached out to @registerednerd_ and Trader Joe’s via Tiktok direct messages.


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*Initial publication: April 8, 2023 8:42 pm CDT

Vladimir Supica

Vladimir Supica is a Serbia-based freelance writer for the Daily Dot. He enjoys traveling around Europe, reading non-fiction books and playing with his dog Max.

Vladimir Supica

Jaclyn Diaz

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