Although the state may be cutting back on funding everything, including education, Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter is expanding its Together in Education program to provide more funds for participating local schools.
The latest recipient is Fort Mill Elementary School, which collected 2,856 pounds of plastic grocery bags in October to win a $500 We Think Green award. The school collected more bags than any other school except one in the 22-county Harris Teeter Southeast region.
It takes approximately 70 bags to make a pound, which means the school collected nearly 20,000 bags in a single month. Only Highland Creek Elementary School in Charlotte collected more - 3,145 pounds - according to Harris Teeter spokeswoman Catherine Reuhl.
"Together in Education launched this contest this year to teach kids about recycling," Reuhl said.
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The company created TIE in 1998. Through the program, the chain's customers can specify a school of their choice and a portion of all sales of Harris Teeter brand products they purchase will be donated to that school. The program is linked to the customer's VIC card and the donations are made automatically.
Overall, 52 schools took part in the We Think Green contest from Charlotte to Charleston. Another Charlotte school, Carmel Middle School, took third place with 2,584 pounds of bags, Reuhl said.
Fort Mill Elementary's PTO ran the bag collection campaign, according to school officials.
Reuhl said Harris Teeter plans to make the We Think Green Awards an annual event. The company has another ongoing program called the Milk Cap Challenge that is guaranteed to net participating schools at least $25, and as much as $1,000. Through May 31, every plastic milk cap a school turns in to Harris Teeter will net the school 5 cents.