Schnucks' policy bans solicitors, including Girl Scouts and The Salvation Army

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COLUMBIA - Schnucks' new change in policy prohibits solicitors from distributing materials at its stores.  

The grocery store confirmed the ban includes Girl Scouts selling cookies and The Salvation Army's bell-ringing collection program.

Schnucks' Senior Communications Specialist Paul Simon said in a statement that Schnucks is committed to helping the community, but the customers have to come first.

"Our primary obligation is servicing our customers by providing the most pleasant and convenient shopping environment," Simon said.  "Because of this, we have decided to end the solicitation of our customers or distribution of written or other materials at our stores."

One Schnucks' customer said she is happy about the policy because the solicitors were around too often. She also said there is already an obesity problem in this country and the cookies just make the problem worse.

The Salvation Army released a statement expressing disappointment in the policy. Money raised by the bell ringers benefits the Tree of Lights campaign, which helps the homeless, seniors, veterans, emergency disaster services, etc. The statement said the policy could severely impact those fundraising efforts.

Simon said Schnucks will continue its "My Schnucks Card" program, which raises money for nonprofit organizations.

"This program is true community relations because these funds will come from Schnucks and will be determined by our customers in their selection of the groups they choose to designate as their beneficiaries," Simon said.

Simon also said Schnucks will explore other ways to partner with community organizations.