Scouts to help offset hunger

Nov 1, 2023 | Communities

Shadrakk Hilleary, Arthur Cortopassi and Daniel Cortopassi of Cub Scout Pack 264 collected food for Operation Provider last year in front of Stater Bros. They were accompanied by Erin Cortopassi, the committee chair for Pack 264. (Photo courtesy of Jim Newcomb)

This coming Saturday, Nov. 4, Boy Scouts from Troops 55 and 89, and Cub Scouts from Pack 264 will be conducting their 23rd 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 the 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.

“I feel the Scouts are doing a wonderful annual contribution to Operation Provider with their food drive. It allows the community to donate and be a part of feeding the hungry on our mountain, during the holidays,” stated Operation Provider’s executive director, Holland Lowe.

“Our donations have been extremely low since the pandemic and, with the collapse of Goodwin’s, there is more need than ever. 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,” Lowe added.

For the last 23 years, Scouts have been serving the community food bank by asking store patrons to buy a little extra and drop it off on their way out of the store. Jim Newcomb, the local Boy Scout commissioner, 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. We had been doing Scouting for Food in Northern California, and brought the idea to the mountain,” said Newcomb. “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 our mountain and open to boys and girls from kindergarten to age 18. Go to to learn more or talk to the Scouts while they collect food donations.

Troop 89 and Pack 264 will be at Stater Bros from about 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Members of Troop 55 and Pack 264 will cover Jensen’s in Blue Jay during the same time period.

During the last 20 years, the Scouts have collected over 60,000 pounds of food and around $24,000 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 the 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 our food bank. Please be the one to make a difference.


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