This coming Saturday, Nov. 13, Scouts from Troops 55, 89 and 251 and Cubs from Pack 264 will be conducting their 20th annual Scouting for Food community service project.
Scouting for Food has been an annual “Good Turn” for America, performed by Scouts of all ages in the mountains since 2001. Every year, the Scouts station themselves in front of our local grocery stores to collect non-perishable food and cash donations to help our local food bank, Operation Provider, during the critical holiday time period.
“During this pandemic we’ve seen an influx of clients and we have had to scale down with our volunteer base but we are very happy to announce our ability to serve our community every Tuesday and Thursday with food has not stopped,” said Holland Lowe, Operation Provider’s executive director.
“Our donations have been extremely low since the pandemic,” Lowe added. “Through food drives and food donations and a few generous neighbors, we are able to serve and continue to do the work we do here at Operation Provider. We appreciate the Scouts for their hard work to collect food and funds for us. Each year it’s helped us out, to bless our community families with Thanksgiving meals. This year our needs are stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes and cranberries.”
For the last 21 years, Scouts have been serving the community food bank by asking store patrons to buy a little extra and drop those items off on their way out of the store. Local Boy Scout Commissioner Jim Newcomb started this community service project when he was the Scoutmaster at Lake Arrowhead Troop 251.
“When we moved to the area, there was no coordinated community project,” Newcomb said. “We had been doing Scouting for Food in Northern California and brought the idea to the mountains. We started with one Scout troop, in front of Stater Bros, then it grew to the point where all the Scout units now get involved.”
Scouting has been building character and developing leaders for over a century in this country. Since its beginning in England in 1909, Scouting has been developing character in youth worldwide. The goals of Scouting BSA are to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations.
Scouting is very active on the mountain and is open to boys and girls from kindergarten to age 18. Visit www.BeAScout.org to learn more or talk to the Scouts while they collect food donations.
Troop 251 and Pack 264 will be at Stater Bros from about 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m., depending on the weather.
Members of Troop 89 will be at Goodwin’s and Troop 55 will cover Jensen’s in Blue Jay during the same time period.
During the last 20 years, the Scouts have collected over 53,000 pounds of food and around $21,000 in donations. The demand on our local food bank is especially high this year, so if you are in the area on Saturday, please find the time to go to one of our local grocery stores to do a little weekend grocery shopping for yourself and pick up a few extra non-perishable food items to donate.
The Scouting volunteers at the stores will be ready to accept your donations and deliver them to Operation Provider. Please be the one to make a difference.