Many people like to throw out a few extra bread crumbs for the birds. But one avian lover recently took feeding the birds to the extreme in Muncie, Ind. The Star Press reports that hundreds of bread pieces, bagels and buns have been left on the banks of the White River, causing chaos among birds, dogs, rats and townspeople. Some are calling it the battle of baked goods; others are just calling it a health hazard.
A huge heap of bread products lines Muncie’s Bunch Boulevard near the river, and local wildlife is having a field day eating the refuse. Toni Cecil is a construction compliance inspector with Muncie Delaware County Storm Water Management. As he told the Star Press, “I'm in disbelief that somebody could dump that much bread, even if they say they have the good intention of feeding the ducks or geese.” Cecil calls the loads of carbs illegal dumping and a possible source of E. coli infection in the river from the onslaught of resulting animal waste.
Police are following the trail of crumbs to a possible culprit. Muncie police Sgt. Bruce Qualls told the press that the baked goods are the product of Panera Bread, a chain café that offers freshly baked artisan breads. No word on how Qualls came to blame Panera for the crumbling mess. According to sources, Panera Bread donates its unsold baked goods to various charities that pass them on to the hungry. The Star Press reports that they have contributed an estimated $100 million in end-of-the-day baked goods to different charitable organizations.
As of press time, the bread-wasting culprit has yet to be found. Nonetheless, Panera Bread has offered to help clean up the mess. Linn Parrish, vice president of public relations for Panera Bread, told the Star Press, "I'm sure we would be happy to clean it up. Even if I have to get on a plane and come."
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