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Area Scouts will be back out 'Scouting for Food' on Saturday

November 15th, 2013 9:21 am by Amanda Marsh

Area Scouts will be back out 'Scouting for Food' on Saturday

Food will be collected from neighborhoods around the region and then delivered to various food banks throughout the area.

Area scouts from seven districts, covering 16 counties, were out in full force last Saturday delivering bags to local neighborhoods. Recipients are challenged to fill their bags and leave them outside for pickup when the scouts return after 8 a.m. tomorrow (Nov. 19).

“I get it and fill it, and I put it right beside the door so I can remember to put it back on the porch when they return,” said Ronald Cameron, program director of the Sequoyah Council. “We’ve been doing it long enough, always ahead of the holidays, and I think people have gotten used to it. We do pretty well.”

“Pretty well” may be an understatement. In 25 years, the Boy Scouts have collected 5 million cans of food. And there’s an added bonus – all of the food collected stays local, not regional.

“It doesn’t go to one big food bank,” Cameron said. “We donate to over 50. It stays within the community to help people in need.”

Each troop ensures that the goods it collects goes back into the same community that provided it. Cameron says some scouts distribute the non-perishables through food pantries within their own sponsor church. Either way, they make sure the food gets to the right place, so it reaches families in need.

“Boy Scouts of Americas have always tackled what the needs are in our country and we feel like hunger is still a need,” Cameron said.  “The scouts have a sense of gratification for helping the people around them. They may not see it at first, but when they get to the food pantry, it helps them to see what kind of impact they are having.”

Although the doorstep donations are key in the Scouting for Food Drive, it will take an even larger effort to collect more than 210,000 cans of food.

Food City, the corporate sponsor of the food drive, provides the collection bags and each store is a collection site.

“Despite coordinated efforts by each troop to cover as much area as possible, not everyone will get a bag,” Cameron said. “But everyone still gets the opportunity to participate.”

Food City stores will accept food drive drop-offs and will have pre-made packages of non-perishable food available for purchase that will go directly to the Scouting for Food Drive. Food City will be accepting donations through Nov. 19.

“There’s as big of need this year as there’s ever been,” Cameron said. “We need as much participation as we can get.”

For more information about the Scouting for Food Drive, contact the Boy Scouts Sequoyah Council at 423-952-6961.

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