After freezer collapse, Second Harvest saves most of their food - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Investigation underway into food bank's roof collapse

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America's Second Harvest Executive Director Mary Jane Crouch America's Second Harvest Executive Director Mary Jane Crouch
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia scrambled to save a million pounds of food after the roof to the nonprofit's massive freezer collapsed on Tuesday.

They were in a race against the clock, working all night and day to demolish the freezer so they could safely get to the food. 

"We actually had crews hear working past one o'clock this morning. They were clearing out the freezers and making sure everything was safe. That was our main priority—safety," said Mary Jane Crouch, the Executive Director of Second Harvest.

Palette after palette was pulled out.

"Yesterday we didn't know if we were going to be able to save anything. I mean, you walk in a room and you see the roof sitting down on everything and you wonder how is this going to work," said Crouch.

This morning the freezer was empty and freeze trucks were packed full of food, waiting to be placed somewhere else. Several hundred pounds of food was lost but Crouch says it was much less than what they expected, around 15-20 palettes.

Some of the food that is thawing will be able to be used today as well.

"We will follow all the serve safe guidelines, but we have a lot of the meat and things to give out to feeding sites. As long as they cook it today they will be alright to eat it. So it's not really a loss as much as it has to be used today," explained Crouch.

More than 300 non-profits across the Coastal Empire depend on Second Harvest. After the collapse on Tuesday, Second Harvest had to give those charities canned food instead of fresh.

The cost to replace that freezer will be around $1 million.

The insurance won't cover the food, and that's why Second Harvest is working overtime to get it transported.

To find out how to help, visit Second Harvest's website

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