Hawkins County Boy Scouts turned in what is projected ot be near 13,000 pounds of food during Saturday's "Scouting For Food" program. (photos by Sheldon Livesay)
UPDATE by Rev. Sheldon Livesay:
Fair weather favored Hawkins County Scouts who collected an initial 11,453 pounds of food in their annual “Scouting for Food” food drive.
2013 is the 25th Anniversary of the “Scouting for Food” food drive, that benefits Feeding America Food Banks and agencies that serve low income families across America.
Local residents have plastic shopping bags left on their doors the second Saturday of November, then scouts organize and canvas communities the third Saturday just before Thanksgiving to collect food donations.
Food is either turned in to local food pantries or left at central locations for Feeding America Food Banks across the nation. Fortunately, in Hawkins County, all food remains in the county to help local residents, while weight totals are reported to both the Scouting organizations and the local Food Bank.
The Scouts and Of One Accord food pantries both send their gratitude and thanks to residents that are so giving.
Many scouts have trouble carrying bags full to the brim with canned and dry food items and sometimes more than one scout was required to retrieve food from just one house.
Scouts reported being thankful to see the response from our community and one leader was reported as saying, “We understand, Hawkins County residents are among the top givers for this food drive in the Sequoyah Council.”
Scouts and their leaders were a little disappointed there was somewhat of less poundage than last year, but a leader said, “Every year is a good year and every can will be a blessing to someone, just some years, we see more donations than other years”.
11,453 pounds of food were turned in as of Monday morning with a few more bags expected to arrive Monday.
Scouts in the upper end of Hawkins County collected and donated 6,063 pounds to Emergency Services for distribution in the Church Hill area and Scouts in the lower end collected 5,390 pounds to donate to Of One Accord Rogersville for distribution in the west end of the county.
Scouts not only spend two Saturdays distributing bags and collecting food, but in Hawkins County Troops 146, 100 and Pack 143 return to Of One Accord’s food pantry to help sort the thousands of donated items.
Energetic youth can sort in a few hours what it takes adult volunteers weeks to do. Items have to be in sorted into like items like beans, corn, macaroni and cheese and the many other items donated. These are then ready for placing in Christmas food boxes.
Of One Accord in addition to the 30,000 people that will be served with food in 2013 will also provide Christmas Food Boxes to an estimated 1,500 families this year.
It takes a lot of food to meet local needs.
The ministry has distributed over a million pounds of food each year for the last three years.
This year Hawkins County Scouts and those comprising the Scouts of the Sequoyah Council worked hard to canvas 15 counties in upper East Tennessee and Southeast Va, expecting nearly 200,000 pounds of food to be donated.
ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville area Boy Scouts turned in 5,390 pounds of food to the Of One Accord ministry food pantry Saturday as part of Saturday’s “Scouting for Food” drive to assist area food pantries.
The exact weight turned in by Church Hill area scouts wasn’t going to be known until Monday morning, but Of One Accord director Sheldon Livesay said he was expecting it to be close to 7,500 pounds, for a combined county total close to 13,000 pounds.
Livesay said the Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America which cover Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia always puts forth a tremendous effort during this annual food drive.
Food collected during this drive helps maintain the daily food pantry efforts, as well as assisting with Christmas food boxes which put an extra strain on the food pantry.
“The Sequoyah Council regularly says that scouts in Hawkins County raise more food than any other place in the whole council,” Livesay added.
Among the Rogersville area troops to participate were: Troop 146 which collected 1,355 pounds; Troop 100 which collected 1,820 pounds; Troop 84 which collected 740 pounds; Pack 146 which collected 785 pounds; and Pack 143 which collected 690 pounds.
Since “Scouting for Food” began 25 years, the Boy Scouts have collected 5 million cans of food nationwide. All of the food collected locally stays local to help Hawkins County families in need.
Food City, the corporate sponsor of the food drive, provided the collection bags, and each store also served as a collection site.