Clipping coupons to help the hungry

January 12, 2010 3:18:10 PM PST
Manufacturers print about $330 billion worth of coupons every year, but only $3 billion are redeemed. That gave Suzanne Stigers an idea ? why not use them for charity? She started a group called "Coupons for the Community" and started getting volunteers on board.

They meet once a week, clip coupons, and head to the store. Sometimes they've even walked away from the register with a zero balance.

In addition to food, they also buy dry goods and toiletries, which are not covered by food stamps but still needed by poor families. Then they bring everything to the food pantry at First Presbyterian Church.

So far they've they donated more than $8,000 worth of food and other items, which are passed out to about 400 families each month.

"We get food stuff that we might not get by ourselves," said Margaret Plevin of the Sparta Ecumenical Food Pantry. "Fresh yogurt, sour cream, all sorts of other things that are high in protein."

Demand has been higher because of the recent recession.

"It makes sense to everyone," Stigers said. "If you have them in your Sunday paper and are going to throw it away, just drop them at a church or where ever we have a collection place, so you can feed someone without spending a dime."

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