Tennessee – Baking soda causes scare at Chattanooga Area Food Bank

Baking soda causes scare at Chattanooga Area Food Bank

Staff, volunteers and other guests of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank were forced to evacuate the facility on Curtain Pole Road Tuesday after the delivery of a suspicious package containing a powdery, white substance.

“We received three packages addressed to board members in care of the Food Bank,” said Gina Crumbliss President and CEO. “When I opened one of them, a white powder spilled out and I saw a box labeled ‘baking soda.’ We immediately implemented our internal safety and security protocol and called the Chattanooga Police Department to report the incident.”

The Chattanooga Police and Fire Departments were on site within minutes conducting a full evacuation and investigation. Chattanooga Fire Department hazmat unit members tested the contents of all three packages and confirmed the substance was 99.9% sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. The packages were deemed to be a hoax.

The incident was contained to the Food Bank’s front offices and at no time were the clients, volunteers, staff, warehouse, food, or other inventory exposed or in danger. The board of the Food Bank says it wants to extend its deep gratitude to the members of the Chattanooga Police and Fire Departments for their prompt response and professionalism in protecting our most important assets who were on site at the time of the event: the people we serve, our agency and corporate partners and our team members.

Originally published on News Channel 2 ABC