Three suspicious packages caused staff, volunteers and other guests of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank to evacuate Tuesday morning.

The package contained a powdery, white substance.

“We received three packages addressed to board members in care of the Food Bank,” Gina Crumbliss President and CEO stated. “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.” 

HAZMAT members from the Chattanooga Fire Department investigated and discovered that the packages contained baking soda. They deemed the packages 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," a Chattanooga Area Food Bank spokesperson said.

The board of the Food Bank said they would like to thank the members of the Chattanooga Police and Fire Departments for their quick response and professionalism.

"The board of the Food Bank wishes 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."