MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has now obtained the health inspection report after a Hickory Hill Family Dollar store was closed because of a rat infestation.
It details rodent droppings on store shelves, chewed open packages and a dead rat discovered in a trap in the stock room. When the health inspector visited May 23 following an anonymous complaint, they said they saw a living rat perched on a cooler.
“That’s gross. They need to clean it up,” said former customer Jacob Omambia.
Community activist Patricia Rogers, who’s spent months documenting the trash heaps accumulating at Family Dollar stores around Memphis, went further in her assessment.
“Family Dollar store is a corporate rat,” Rogers said.
Tuesday, she met with almost 100 pastors to ask them to boycott all Family Dollar locations that aren’t being kept up.
“You know they don’t want their sheep in dirty pastures,” Rogers said.
“Anytime you hear a preacher of the gospel say ‘Amen’ to what you’re saying, he’s in,” she added.
At least one pastor is willing to say it outright.
“Why is it it’s a problem just to pick up your trash?” said Bishop Jerry Ivery of the World Redeemers Outreach Church.
Ivery said he’s already asking his congregation not to shop at stores with trash piles or rodents.
“If they having a problem with that, well let’s help them not to have too much trash. We won’t support them so they won’t have to cut up the boxes and everything and then they don’t have to worry about so much trash,” Ivery said.
Family Dollar hasn’t said when the store on Mt. Moriah will reopen. Until it does, customers have no choice but to stay away.
“If they clean up all the way, I’ll come back again,” said Omambia.
Family Dollar didn’t return WREG’s request for comment.
Rogers said the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association will issue a statement regarding a possible boycott next Tuesday.