Scouts round up 185,000 pounds of food
Boy Scouts across the region kicked off the season of giving last weekend during the 29th annual Scouting for Food drive, collecting more than 185,000 pounds of food for those in need.
Young men from over 200 Narragansett Council packs and troops did good turns and more during one of the largest food drives in New England, with scouts in the local area adding significantly to the totals.
“They did really well, and we’re still counting it up. A lot of the donations come in on Saturday, but some doesn’t come in until after the weekend,” said Hugh Minor, Director of Communications at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, who added that some donations go directly to other community drop-off centers, which will increase the overall weight totals for the campaign.
Scouts from Cranston collected 8,949 pounds, Johnston scouts collected 2,241 pounds, and those from Warwick rounded up 21,590 pounds of food.
“This food drive is so critical to us, it’s our largest food drive of the year, and the Scouts come in with so much energy and enthusiasm,” said Minor. “They’re out at 8 o’clock in the morning going door to door, and they just kept coming in here all day. It’s great to see so many people engaged and involved.”
Locally, fire stations were used as collection points where the scouts boxed food donations that were then transported to the Food Bank by the Rhode Island National Guard and Food Bank trucks.
A week prior to Saturday’s pick up day, scouts canvassed neighborhoods and placed bright yellow door hangers on homes asking residents to contribute healthy canned and boxed foodstuffs. Participants were instructed to leave those goods in a box or bag outside of their door the morning of the 5th for pickup.
Since the food drive’s inception in 1987, local scouts have collected nearly 9 million pounds of food.
According to the Food Bank, collected items brought to their facility are inspected and sorted, then distributed to 160 agencies throughout the state. While the drive helps those in need, scouts also benefit as the time spent volunteering may be used towards rank advancement requirements.
“It really is important for us, it really helps to kick start the food drives for the winter, and getting nearly 200,000 pounds of food in the door in one day is incredible,” said Minor.