As the holidays approach and more people are confronted with the challenges of an uncertain economy, local Boy Scouts are encouraging New Englanders to give back to those in need. Last weekend, thousands of Boy Scouts went door-to-door, delivering empty bags to local residents for their annual Scouting for Food campaign. This week, community members are asked to fill the bags and put them back on their doorstep on Saturday, Nov. 3 by 9 a.m. Scouts will return to collect the non-perishable food items for local families that morning.
For 25 years, the Boy Scouts’ Scouting for Food campaign has inspired the community to give to those in need. Over 200 Boy Scout Packs and Troops participate in the annual drive, reinforcing the motto for Scouts to do a “Good Turn” daily. The Scouting for Food Drive is the most significant annual community service event for the Narragansett Council Boy Scouts of America.
Narragansett Council’s Scout Executive/CEO, John Mosby, highlighted the importance of the drive, “For more than 25 years, the Annual Scouting for Food Drive has not only helped our neighbors in need, but it has also shown our Scouts how the community can and will step forward to help others less fortunate than themselves. That is a critical life lesson for them.”
Last year, the drive collected close to 300,000 pounds of food, which helped the Rhode Island Community Food Bank to stock pantries around the state. In addition, some of the donated food went to food pantries in Southeastern Massachusetts and Connecticut. Since the drive’s inception in 1988, the Narragansett Council has collected more than 7.8 million pounds of food for those in need.
“We’re really counting on the community to fill up those bags with healthy food this year,” said Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “The Boy Scouts make it easy for everyone to participate in our biggest food drive of the year, and the need has never been greater. Right now, more than 65,000 Rhode Islanders rely on our statewide network of emergency food programs just to meet their basic food needs – and one in three of those people is a child under the age of 18. We hope everyone will do their part and join the Boy Scouts in making sure that no Rhode Islander goes hungry.”
Donors are encouraged to fill their bags with the Food Bank’s most needed items:
- Protein: Canned Soup, Tuna, Meats, Peanut Butter, Nuts
- Canned Fruits & Vegetables including Juices and Dried Fruit and Tomato Sauce
- Carbohydrates: Nutritious Breakfast Cereals, Whole Wheat Pasta and Rice
- Crackers, Granola Bars and Cheese & Cracker Packages
- Canned or Dried Beans
If the Scouts are unable to cover your neighborhood, please visit your local Walgreens store to drop off your donation between Nov. 3 and Nov. 17.