How does a bag fee affect low-income residents?

Bread for the City, a direct-service organization serving Washington, DC’s low-income population, recently wrote a blog article about their experience with the District’s five-cent disposable bag fee, and what that has meant for clients of their food pantry.

In general, the response has been positive. Bread received tens of thousands of reusable bags through community and corporate donations, and uses them to distribute food to clients. Clients who bring their bags back receive additional produce the following week. Plus, “One woman told [us] that she’s noticed a clear change, and is proud to live ‘in a community that doesn’t have plastic trash flying at you in the wind.’ Someone even asked us when the government is going to put a fee on bottles and cans.”

Bread, and other food pantries, can always use more bags. If you can make a donation or help organize a collection drive, contact

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