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posted: 10/3/2012 1:08 PM

Sunset Foods, District 70 partnership nets cash for schools

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Libertyville District 70 submission

A partnership between Libertyville Elementary District 70 and Sunset Foods in Libertyville has brought an additional $1,257 into the schools as customers shopped with reusable grocery bags last year.

The program, "Five for the Future," kicked off two years ago at the Sunset Foods store at 1451 Peterson Road. In the program, for each reusable bag used for shopping, Sunset donates a nickel to the school district.

"Once again, we can't say enough about Sunset Foods and how they help our schools and district," said Superintendent Guy Schumacher. "They believe in giving back to the community and making a difference for our students. This is an exceptional business partnership. I'm both honored and proud that we are going into our third year of Five for the Future partnership."

The almost $3,500 collected over two years from Sunset Foods is used in the District 70's Partners for Excellence in Education for teacher mini-grants that focus on the environment, "going green," and recycling.

Partners for Excellence in Education is a group of local business representatives that offer their time and financial donations to the district. This is the 17th year for the partnership's "Mini-Grant Awards" program, which has awarded $100,000 over the years for direct use in the classrooms.

Sunset has been offering reusable bags for at least 20 years, said John Cortesi, president and CEO of the company. He also is a member of the Illinois Plastic Bag Recycling Task Force in Lake County.

By tying the reusable bag use to a cause, donating 5 cents for each bag to a school system, "it's a win-win program," Cortesi added.

"If we educate the younger kids about the environment, together we can create a bigger impact. This is a great program."

Monies collected from Papa John's pizza coupon and NorthShore Academy of Martial Arts for last year came to about $460. The monies will be used for mini grants. Coupons for Papa John's Pizza, Trattoria's and Mickey Finn's came to almost $540, which will be used by Family Association's of District 70.