Reversing its position, an Amherst Walmart decided to allow the local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind to hold its annual hot dog sale at the store after all – but the chapter declined the offer.
The chapter has held its hot dog sales at the Walmart for more than 10 years without any problems at the new store on Sheridan Drive near Bailey Avenue and the old store on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
The chapter received approval in May for the hot dog sale on Aug. 25.
But this week the chapter president received a call from a Walmart manager and was informed that Walmart’s lease with a Subway restaurant inside the store limits the number of hot dog sales to six per year, and there have already been six in 2013. So the manager told the chapter president the hot dog sale would have to be cancelled.
On Wednesday, Walmart spokesman Bill Wertz said that the store contacted the National Federation of the Blind chapter to say that the sale could go on as scheduled.
But chapter president Mike Robinson, “after a lot of discussion,” said the chapter decided not to accept the offer.
“It sounds like what they’ve offered is a temporary fix for this year,” Robinson said. “It’s a nice offer, but I don’t see it solving the problem for next year and solving the problem for the future.”
A number of other companies have approached the chapter to offer a venue for the hot dog sale, including the Budwey’s supermarket on Kenmore Avenue in Buffalo.
Robinson said the group hopes to decide by Thursday where the sale will be held.
“We’ve got a couple of different options,” he said, adding, “nothing is set in stone yet.”
The hot dog sale provides 75 percent of the chapter’s $2,500 annual budget.
“Our concern had been our contractual obligations with our food-service partners,” Wertz said in an email. “However, recognizing scheduling commitments we had made, we have secured Subway’s agreement to proceed with any planned events for the rest of the year. We apologize for the miscommunication and will be making a contribution to the organization in support of their fundraising efforts.”