Usually, free food in the break room is a pleasant surprise.
At worst, workers are apathetic if they're full, diet-restricted, or not appetized at the sight of homemade whatever-that-is.
Earlier this week, the appearance of a big batch in one St. Paul workplace was met with an altogether different reaction: confusion. And then outrage.
Jillian Hiscock, national partnerships manager with the College Possible nonprofit, arrived at work on Tuesday to find a curious offering to staffers, a grocery bag full of bread from Subway, plus a note explaining its unexpected presence in the office.
"We were all pretty upset about it," says Hiscock, who regularly volunteers with Twin Cities United Way as part of its "Arise Project," which works to alleviate homelessness among LGBTQ youth.
"The agencies we partner with are constantly working to provide basic needs for local queer youth," Hiscock says. "To see a huge restaurant like Subway acting like this is pretty abhorrent."
About that part: the note's figure, of "26,744 Subway franchises in the U.S.," is slightly outdated. These days, the sandwich chain is down to 25,305 (including at least 50 in Minnesota, and a couple dozen in the Twin Cities metro alone), though even that reduced number is easily first place for chain fast-food franchises in America.
And they're not all telling employees perfectly good food can't go to charity. In fact, according to a company spokesman, they're not sure why this happened in the first place.
"Subway Franchisees are encouraged to create bread donation programs to fight hunger in their local communities," the spokesman said in a statement. "The company works with hunger relief organizations around the world, including Feeding America in the U.S., and many Franchisees regularly donate to various local and regional organizations."
The spokesman added that the company was "disappointed" to see Hiscock's tweet, and said Subway would be "reaching out" in an attempt to discuss it with the Subway franchisee in question.
The good news, if there is any, is that this bread was not truly wasted -- "oh, yeah. It's being eaten," Hiscock confirms -- though there are undoubtedly people who needed it much more than a group of professional employees.
"We know there are far too many people that go without adequate food every day," Hiscock says, "even right here in one of the 'best cities to live in.'"