Arnold Food Pantry moves to eliminate use of plastic bags

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ARNOLD, Mo. – A local food pantry is looking to make a small change in hopes of making a big impact on the environment.

The Arnold Food Pantry has been making a difference for the people of Jefferson County since 1983. Soon, it will also make a difference for the planet.

“When I took over the position earlier in the year, I did some math and figured out we were using anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 plastic bags,” said Ed Fitzhenry, executive director for the Arnold Food Pantry.

Some cities across the U.S. have banned plastic bags. However, Missouri lawmakers are considering banning local governments from implementing bans on single-use plastics.

The Arnold Food Pantry wanted to do its part to reduce the number of plastic bags it was using, Fitzhenry said. He reached out to contacts at Comprehensive Benefits and Humana about partnering to create a reusable bag.

Before he knew it, Fitzhenry said his contacts responded in a big way. They had 10,000 reusable bags made.

Fitzhenry said the Arnold Food Pantry will keep about 2,000 and share the rest with other area food pantries.

The reusable bags will not eliminate the plastic bags, but Fitzhenry said he hopes they will reduce the number of plastic bags used at the food pantry each year by at least half.

The Arnold Food Pantry receives no state or federal funding. It relies on donations and fundraisers, and money made through sales at its thrift store.

Fitzhenry said they get food from the St. Louis Food Bank, through Operation Food Search, and through community food drives. The Arnold Food pantry serves 500-600 families each month.

“We’ve estimated that the amount of food, let’s say for one person over two weeks, is probably $600 to $700 in value,” Fitzhenry said.

Fitzhenry said the Arnold Food Pantry served 13,000 individuals last year and gave out more than $2.6 million in food. They are on track to help just as many people this year.

Current and new clients will get the reusable bags beginning in November. They will need to bring the bags with them for each future visit.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News