Whole Foods stands by decision to feed National Guard in Baltimore, deletes photo of event

(Jessica Chasmar)   Whole Foods is defending its decision to serve lunch to National Guardsman patrolling the streets of Baltimore on Tuesday, despite an outcry from online commenters who argue the food should have gone to the local community.

“We teamed up with Whole Foods Market Mt. Washington to make sandwiches for the men and women keeping Baltimore safe. We are so thankful to have them here and they’re pumped for Turkey & Cheese,” one of the supermarket’s local store’s posted on Instagram Tuesday with a photo of members of theNational Guard holding up a Whole Foods bag. The post appeared to have been deleted by Wednesday afternoon.

After receiving a wave of backlash for the post, Whole Foods spokeswoman Katie Malloy explained to ABC News: “We’re all Baltimoreans and have supported community organizations for many years to improve lives around our city. Currently, we are providing food and water to children across our city by partnering with rec centers and community organizations, and have been doing so in parallel with providing food and water to first responders.”

Asked why the photo was removed from Instagram and Facebook, the spokeswoman said it’s because it did not “accurately reflect all our local stores are doing to feed people across this city, especially children.

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“Again, we love our community, and will continue to support our city in the days to come, as we always do, and extend our heartfelt sympathy to those affected,” she said.

A spokesman for the National Guard told ABC News, “Essentially, we are all ‘Baltimoreans.’ “

“We are a community-based organization with our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen living and working here in the state,” Major Rick Breitenfeldt said.

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