Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A Virginia shopkeeper who was caught taking cuts of meat from a dumpster insists it was for his cats and not for sale.
VIRGINIA NORTH, VA (Catholic Online) - Rodney Sparks of Front Royal, has a discount food store where he sells inexpensive food and merchandise to area residents.
Sparks admits he took meat from a local dumpster, but says the meat was intended for his cats. Sparks says he has as many as 50-75 cats. Some residents think it may be more.
He says the cheap meat he sells is steeply discounted by supermarkets and other suppliers who are looking to clear their shelves. None of the meat he sells to the public is taken from the dumpster.
However, city and state officials say otherwise. An official complaint by the Office of Meat and Poultry Services says he sold adulterated and misbranded meats to the public last year.
The complaint says labels on the meat he sold were traced back to meat discarded by local stores. Employees from one area store say they observed him dumpster diving for meat.
Sparks says the government is trying to run him out of business and that the bad publicity has already cut his sales in half.
Whether Sparks is a Samaritan working to provide struggling families with food and merchandise at bargain prices, or he is a dumpster diver who is passing tainted meat to unsuspecting consumers is yet to be determined.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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