April 22, 2010

Rounding up reusable bags

Although we support the environmental objectives of DC's new bag tax, we also can't ignore the cumulative effect of a 5c per-bag fee on our clients. Clients are already turning to us because they fell short each month -- so even seemingly small extra fees do have an impact on them.

This also means that Bread for the City can be a critical gateway point for efforts to mitigate the regressive effect of this law. So we are pleased to report that since the passage of the Bag Bill, Bread for the City has received more than 8,000 reusable bags to distribute to our clients.

We are keeping track of every bag we hand out, and encouraging clients to bring back their bag next time. Early indications suggest that our clients are adapting quickly. Clients are already coming back with our reusable bags in hand, as well as others that they've received elsewhere.

So a special thanks goes out to these large donors: D.D.O.E.(5,500 bags), Whole Foods (2,000 bags), Giant (200 bags), and Target (100 bags).

As impressive as 8,000 bags sounds, it leaves us far from our goal of one reusable bag provided to each client. Even before the passage of the law, however, Safeway pledged to donate a large amount of reusable bags. By fulfilling its pledge, Safeway would put us considerably farther along down the path to a bag per client.

While we wait for Safeway to come through, we're continuing to search for more bags for our clients. That’s why we are kicking off a reusable bag campaign: now you can help!

Put those dozens of idle bags lying around your house to good use. Set up a bag drive at work, or your community group. Contact me at jwankel@breadforthecity.org to make arrangements.

Thanks to all of our generous supporters!

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