Trader Joe's customers with full carts in line with caption 'THE FRIDGES WENT OUT SO THEY WERE GIVING OUT FREE FOOD.' (l) Trader Joe's building with sign and blue sky (c) Trader Joe's check out with total on screen at $2,276.27 with caption 'MY TOTAL AT TRADER JOES' (r)

Lori Butcher/Shutterstock @.amiyabrielle/TikTok (Licensed) by Caterina Cox

‘Walmart would let it go bad’: Customer gets groceries for free at Trader Joe’s after store fridges break

‘I would’ve walked out with a freezer at that point.’


Stacy Fernandez


Shoppers at a Louisiana Trader Joe’s were in for a pleasant surprise when the store’s fridges broke down. Instead of chucking the goods, the local Trader Joe’s let customers load up on cold and frozen items for free.

TikTok user Amiya (@.amiyabrielle) was at the grocery store location during the refrigeration malfunction and posted a clip of the incident to the platform.

In her viral video, Amiya records dozens of customers with red shopping carts full to the brim with free food. It’s likely that several people abandoned the grocery list they came in with in favor of making room for the sudden freebies.

The register shows that the total for the cold and frozen items—if she’d had to pay for them—would have come out to more than $2,200. Amiya explains that the food she got wasn’t just for her household. She also got items to share with her sister and neighbor.

While some viewers were confused why Amiya’s items were getting scanned when they were supposed to be free, several commenters explained that the cashiers “likely still need to scan for inventory and write off reasons.”

“God will put you in position to be in the right place at the right time,” Amiya says while there is gospel music playing in the background of the video.

In a video from another customer who was there that day, they explain that the $2,800 total that viewers see isn’t the customer’s total but the amount of free food scanned at that specific checkout terminal so far.

A Trader Joe’s employee in the other video said they were “helping everybody” instead of letting the food go to waste. In the United States, between 30 to 40% of all food is wasted, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Trader Joe’s where this happened is located in East Baton Rouge Parish, the most populous parish in Louisiana. Nearly half a million people live there, according to 2022 census data. (Unlike most states in the country, Louisiana divides itself into parishes instead of counties.)

@.amiyabrielle the way GOD been blessing me lately.. whew happy GOoD friday yall. #waymaker #traderjoes #goodfriday ♬ original sound – gospelmusicenthusiast

The video has more than 907,000 views on TikTok and over 2,500 comments.

Many people in the comments praised the popular grocer for its generosity.

“This makes me love Trader Joe’s 10x more cause any other store would have let it go bad before helping anyone,” a commenter wrote.

“Walmart would let it go bad before they helped a single person. Thank you TJ,” another speculated.

Others joked about what they would have done in that situation.

“I would’ve walked out with a freezer at that point,” one commenter said.

“Turning the power off in my town as we speak,” another wrote.

“I’m filling up my car and I’m running back in,” a person added.

The Daily Dot reached out to Amiya and Trader Joe’s via email.

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