Metro-East News

Bell ringers will be at Schnucks after all

Mike Schissler of Belleville collects donations for the Salvation Army dressed as a Christmas tree outside the Schnucks in Swansea.
Mike Schissler of Belleville collects donations for the Salvation Army dressed as a Christmas tree outside the Schnucks in Swansea.

The red kettles and bell ringers of The Salvation Army will once again be in front of Schnucks grocery stores.

Schnucks and The Salvation Army announced Thursday that the St. Louis-based grocery store chain granted an exemption to The Salvation Army on its new ban on solicitors in front of the grocery stores.

In August, Schnucks said it was implementing a ban on groups such as the Girl Scouts and The Salvation Army from asking shoppers for donations.

Dan Jennings, a Salvation Army lieutenant colonel who serves as divisional commander for the St. Louis and metro-east areas, said in August that the ban would be “a big blow” to the fundraising efforts of the nonprofit organization. He said Schnucks shoppers donated $478,000 during the holidays last year.

But on Thursday, Jennings said he was pleased Schnucks gave The Salvation Army an exemption, and he encourages shoppers to give donations that are used to help needy families, seniors and the homeless. The group’s Tree of Lights goal is $6.1 million.

The red kettles will be out from Nov. 18 to Dec. 24 at the Schnucks stores.

Jennings said he met with Schnucks officials after the ban was announced and asked that The Salvation Army get an exemption because of the significant amount of donations the group gets from Schnucks.

“Our solicitation policy was reset earlier this year in response to customer feedback, but there was strong and unique community reaction to the impact it would have on The Salvation Army in particular. We listened. In this specific, special case, we acknowledge the great needs of the community,” Todd Schnuck, chairman and CEO of Schnuck Markets, said in a news release.

Where to donate

Along with Schnucks, other St. Louis area stores have agreed to allow Salvation Army bell ringers to collect donations this year and others may be added. Stores that will allow bell ringers include:

  • Dierbergs
  • Hobby Lobby
  • JCPenney
  • Macy’s
  • Shop ’n Save
  • Walmart

Source: The Salvation Army

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