Harvest Hope Food Bank asks for plastic bag donations


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Harvest Hope Food Bank of Greenville has asked the community to donate any new or used, in good condition, grocery plastic bags.

Emergency pantry Manager, Amy Bell, said the plastic bag reserve has gotten so low, they’ve had to ask Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia for some.

“A lot of the product that we get , is in bulk and bins. To make it easier to give out, and for our volunteers to give out, we’re asking for those bags. All to help us make our process for efficient,” Bell said.

Between 100 to 200 clients per day come to Harvest Hope in Greenville’s pantry to pick up their food for the month. Bell explained that on average, the pantry can use anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 plastic bags daily.

The idea of having clients who come to the pantry, bring their own reusable totes, has been discussed.

“We do try to use the resuable grocery bags for certain clients who may be homeless or riding a bus. We do encourage them to bring them back,” Bell said. “But things get lost in the shuffle within 30 days. So it’s not always plausible.”

On Tuesday, students from Powdersville High School volunteered at Harvest Hope.

They helped sort plastic bags and other grocery items into carts for clients picking up groceries.

The group’s Job Coach, Mary Crittendon, said they know first hand the importance of donating plastic bags.

“Well, one thing, they use them a lot here because when they’re bagging up cans and drinks they go ahead and put a certain number in a bag,” Crittendon said.

In addition to portion control, she noted, the bags create efficiency.

“It’s easier to grab it and go, and get the food out to the clients quickly. So, everybody can be served,” Crittendon said.

Although, some grocery stores and counties have stopped offering one time use plastic bags. Bell said there is still a need for them.

While shoppers may only use them once, Bell explained that at the pantry, those bags can be a great help once again.

“We see it as kind of a way to recycle them. A lot of people have that bag of bags, or the closet, or the drawer full of these things that are not going to use,” Bell said.

Harvest Hope Food Bank of Greenville is offering containers for community member to collect plastic bags for donation.

If you’d like to learn where to turn in your plastic bag donations or get a container for your office, church, school or organization to collect the bags, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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