Overprepared: Irene stockpilers have buyer’s remorse

Generators, junk food seen as waste

“I spent $20 or $30 on batteries - I could have spent that on shoes or a bag,” said Ms. Meyers, 34, who works in human resources for a Manhattan law firm. “Maybe I’ll sell them on eBay.”

While some people tried to figure out what to do with all the extra stuff, many people were focused more on what they did not want to do with it. Some joked that Irene was just a conspiracy to boost grocery store sales. They lamented the detrimental effects that buying so many snacks would have on their waistlines.

Brenda Cooper went an extra step and returned her food pre-emptively. Ms. Cooper, 51, a secretary, took a shopping bag filled with canned nuts, chocolates and cookies into a Duane Reade in Manhattan on Saturday before Irene hit. She had purchased them the previous day.

“I’m afraid,” she said, “I’m going to overeat.”

Carol Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Food Bank for New York City, was pleasantly surprised by a posting on the New York blog Gothamist urging people to donate their “surplus ‘freak out food’ ” to the bank.

Ms. Schneider said the Food Bank, which supplies soup kitchens and other charities throughout the city, would take whatever people had left over, even if it was just a couple of cans of tuna fish or boxes of cereal. As of Monday evening, the Food Bank had seen no Irene-induced surge of donations, but Ms. Schneider was hopeful they would come after people sorted out more immediate problems such as flooded basements.

“Whatever is extra and they’re not going to use - everything helps,” she said. “Especially in times like these.”

AP staffers Ellen Gibson and Anne D’Innocenzio in New York and Derek Kravitz Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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