Press Release


April 19, 2016
Media contact: Samantha Krepps
[email protected]

Donation includes $2500 to the Great American Clean Up of PA

Carlisle, PA – In recognition of Earth Day, today GIANT Food Stores donated 50 benches made from recycled plastic bags to local organizations and schools, including 25 benches and $2,500 to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to help with the Great American Cleanup of PA.

This donation is part of GIANT’S ongoing Bags to Benches initiative and its overall commitment to the environment. GIANT has set a goal of getting to “zero waste” by 2020, diverting 90% of waste going into landfills and incineration through the expansion of recycling programs.

“We believe in being a responsible retailer, reducing waste and caring for the environment 365 days a year,” said Tom Lenkevich, GIANT president. “We encourage customers to ‘go green’ not only on Earth Day, but every day.” Customers can recycle plastic bags at any GIANT Food Stores or MARTIN’S Food Markets. It takes about 10,000 plastic bags to make one park bench. Since 1997, more than 1,500 benches have been donated to local fire departments, churches, schools, townships, parks and playgrounds.

When improperly disposed, plastic bags become harmful to the environment. Plastic bags can take many years to degrade and may release toxic chemicals into the soil if they are littered. They also can pose a threat to marine life that mistakes the plastic bags for food. With over one billion plastic bags used every day, that equates to about 4 bags for every person in the United States per day that need to be properly disposed.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) empowers Pennsylvanians to make their communities clean and beautiful. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers annually participate in our programs, such as the Great American Cleanup of PA, in order to improve their communities,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “KPB is grateful to partner with the GIANT/MARTIN’S Bags to Benches Program to further benefit these local community beautification efforts.”

In addition to the 25 benches given to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, GIANT and MARTIN’S are donating benches to the following organizations:

  • Allentown Parks Department, Allentown, PA
  • Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority, Lewisburg, PA
  • City of Reading Parks, Reading, PA
  • Cumberland Valley School District – Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Elizabethtown Area School District – East High Street Elementary School, Elizabethtown, PA
  • Harrisburg Public Works, Harrisburg, PA
  • Interboro School District – Tinicum School, Essington, PA
  • Lancaster Solid Waste, Lancaster, PA
  • Lititz Run Watershed Alliance, Lititz, PA
  • Mineral County School District – Burlington Primary School, Burlington, WV
  • Mt. Holly Springs Revitalization Committee, Mt. Holly Springs, PA
  • Newport Veterans Memorial Park, Newport, PA
  • NHS The Stevens Center, Carlisle, PA
  • Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Horticultural Center, District 8, Philadelphia, PA
  • Richmond Clean and Beautiful Commission, Richmond, VA
  • Terre-Hill Borough, Terre Hill, PA
  • Urban Farms & Gardens, North Philadelphia, PA
  • West Shore School District – Newberry Elementary, Etters, PA
  • Williamsport, MD Parks & Recreation, Williamsport, MD
  • York County Parks & Recreation, York, PA
  • York Suburban School District – Yorkshire Elementary School, York, PA
  • Youth 10X’s Better, Harrisburg, PA
For more information on GIANT’S responsible retailing efforts and commitment to the environment, visit

GIANT/MARTIN’S is committed to helping its customers save money, save time and eat well. Founded in 1923 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, GIANT/MARTIN’S operates nearly 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, under the names of GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets. GIANT/MARTIN’S employs more than 33,000 associates and is a division of Ahold USA. In addition to working with hundreds of local and regional organizations annually, GIANT/MARTIN’S has a long-standing focus on efforts to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for children. GIANT/MARTIN’S is one of the top ten fund-raisers in the country for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. For more information visit the GIANT or MARTIN’S websites. Find GIANT and MARTIN’S on Facebook and on Twitter @GiantFoodStores or @MartinsFoodMkts.