An IGA in Batehaven on the NSW south coast was forced to throw away $50,000 worth of unsaleable food following devastating bushfires. Picture: Facebook/Hew Jackson
An IGA in Batehaven on the NSW south coast was forced to throw away $50,000 worth of unsaleable food following devastating bushfires. Picture: Facebook/Hew Jackson

$50k waste adds to bushfire tragedy

A MAN has revealed how power outages caused by bushfires forced owners of a community store to throw away $50,000 worth of spoiled food.

Taking to Facebook, a store employee of IGA in Batehaven on the NSW south coast, shared a series of photos showing two large skips filled with unsaleable goods.

"One of the most unfortunate jobs I've had was to clear stock out of our store that was spoiled with the power outages," the man captioned his post.

This IGA in Batehaven opened its doors on New Year’s Day to serve customers even though two of its owners had lost their homes to fires the day before. Picture: Facebook/Hew Jackson
This IGA in Batehaven opened its doors on New Year’s Day to serve customers even though two of its owners had lost their homes to fires the day before. Picture: Facebook/Hew Jackson

RELATED: How you can help those in impacted by the fires

The employee said it had been a harrowing time for the three families who own the store and live in the area.

He revealed despite two of the owners having lost homes to fires which ravaged the region on December 31, the store opened the following day to help locals in need.

"These guys wouldn't tell the world what they have lost or how it's impacted them personally but that's what makes them humble," he said.

"Jim and Dave both lost their homes in the fires, with only what possessions they could carry they evacuated and lost everything," he wrote on the post.

A community store was forced to throw away $50,000 worth of food following bushfires on the NSW south coast. Picture: Facebook/Hew Jackson
A community store was forced to throw away $50,000 worth of food following bushfires on the NSW south coast. Picture: Facebook/Hew Jackson

"Nathan & Kylie were more fortunate but as the fires burnt everything around their home they too were forced to seek shelter in the only place they could - our store."

The store employee said as fires ravaged the coast, the store lost power, communication with the outside world and in-coming supplies were cut off due to road closures.

The employee revealed after electricity was cut, food quickly spoiled in the heat resulting in the store needing to throw out $50,0000 worth of unsaleable product.

"And not once have they complained about what they lost," he said.

Although the knock-on effects of the fires continues to be felt, the employee said the store - and the community - are doing all they can to rebuild.

Notes on the skips are asking people to not take the unopened food as it has been thrown away because it has spoiled. Picture: Facebook/Hew Jackson
Notes on the skips are asking people to not take the unopened food as it has been thrown away because it has spoiled. Picture: Facebook/Hew Jackson

"Please don't mistake this for a pity post or a grab at attention but for awareness, there are a hundred stories just like this all over the area about people going above and beyond to help others in any way they can," he said.

He closed his post by reminding people that tourism helps small communities at this time of year to survive and ongoing support was vital.

"Without the tourism this part of the world normally gets at this time of the year we really do suffer," he said. "Buy local, support small business, keep the community thriving."

Since sharing on Facebook, the store employee's post has generated more than 1000 reactions and has been shared by others more than 1200 times.

Many commenting have said how heartbroken they feel by the man's photos as well as for the devastating loss suffered by the shop keepers.

"So sorry to hear that they have lost their homes and stock off their shelves," said one person.

"Double blow but you opened your doors for others I saw the line-ups. How beautiful you are."



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