We’ve all got them; the free one from that International Tofu Marketing Convention last year or the one we bought to show support for that sports team we’ve lost interested in. I’m talking about EXTRA BAGS, people. I’ve got a stack of ‘em shoved in the back of my pantry, or I should say I had one. That is, until I discovered a fantastic place for them to go live out their full reusable bag potential and no longer waste away next to my canned tomatoes.

You may have heard about the recent tax levied on plastic bags in DC and maybe you thought, eh $0.05 ain’t so bad. The thing is, $0.05 adds up, especially for low income shoppers. And reusable bags are not always cheap! Recently, the ECOBAGS team came across Bread for the City, a truly inspiring organization which provides everything from food to medical and legal services to Washington, DC residents and discovered that their population stood to strongly benefit from our extra reusable bags! They’ve begun a reusable bag drive, to which we gladly contributed our extras, but now we’re here to encourage you to join in!

Why it’s important

Food pantries like Bread for the City serve so many clients that their disposable bag usage can be quite high. This not only adds up in budget dollars but also carbon footprint! Bread for the City, in particular, serves nearly 5,000 households each month and due to the heavy weight of canned items and fresh produce, they have to triple bag when using disposable! That means a single reusable bag will eliminate three disposable ones each time. Bread for the City also encourages its clients to bring back their bags by giving an extra pound of fresh produce for each bag that returns.

The transition from disposable to reusable!

Just a small portion of the food distributed everyday.

ECOBAGS’ Aliana Marino with Bread for the City’s Food Coordinator, Jenette Chance, and Jeffrey Wankel

Bread for the City has done an amazing job with their bag drive, but they still need more! If you’d like to send your bags to Bread for the City, please send to the following address and make sure to include a piece of paper stating (1) Your name and (2) Quantity of bags you’re donating.

Attn: Jeffrey Wankel

Bread for the City

1525 7th ST NW

Washington, DC, 20001

Alternatively, ACT LOCAL! We encourage you to contact your local food pantry and see if they would like your gently loved reusable bags! Spread the word by starting your own bag drive with friends, family, school and co-workers and send over a big box all at once.

For more information on Bread for the City, visit http://www.breadforthecity.org/

To find a food pantry in your area, check out Feeding America’s Food Bank Locator: http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx

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