The Ashland Beacon
Some people who live in the area may have come out of their homes on Saturday morning to find a white bag hanging out somewhere on their porch. Local Boy Scouts were out early last weekend distributing bags carrying the “Scouting for Food” logo. The bags are a silent plea from the Scouts for donations of non-perishable food that they will pick up this Saturday. The food will be used to help fill food baskets for hungry families during the holiday season.
Scouting for Food started in 1985 and is still going strong today. It takes place over a two-week time span. Scouts drop bags off throughout their local neighborhoods on one weekend to let people know that the annual food drive is happening. Then, the following weekend, they go back out to those same neighborhoods to pick up the bags that they hope will be full of food for the hungry.
Boy Scout Troop 1100 met at their sponsor church, Second Freewill Baptist on 29th Street, at 9 a.m. this past Saturday morning to pick up bags to distribute to local neighborhoods. Although only three of the Scouts were able to attend, the ones that did come made a determined effort to distribute as many bags as they could in the chilly conditions. Each Scout picked a local street and walked up and down the blocks putting “Scouting for Food” bags on porches or hanging them on mailboxes, doorknobs, and porch gates. They showed up on security cameras and ring doorbells all over the local neighborhood. If someone came out to see if they needed something, they were proud to tell the homeowners all about the annual “Scouting for Food” collection.
Roy Dillon, from Troop 1100, explained, “Scouting for Food is an endeavor to gather food for local food banks to help bolster their efforts to provide food to needy families during the holidays. The need for family food assistance seems to grow every year and the strain can be hard to overcome for local pantries. More than ever, food pantries must rely on individuals and smaller groups to fill the stop gap of donations from government and regional sources of donated food.”
Dillon said that there are several reasons that his troop participates in the Scouting for Food event every year. He said that “Scouts are a community service-based organization” and the annual food drive gives them a chance to “get the experience of helping those that may be less fortunate than them.” He referred to Scouting for Food as being a good project for the Scouts to put in some “sweat equity. It is much easier to donate a parent’s money than it is to go door to door and haul these heavy bags in the elements.”
Dillon hopes that the Scouts of Troop 1100 will “get to experience the feeling of doing for others because there is no better feeling than going out of your way” to help another person. He thinks that “this experience can make a person want to do more, and potentially bigger things, for those in need.” Dillon believes that “if we all did something, no matter how small in scope, poverty could become a thing of the past.”
The Scouts from Troop 1100 will meet yet again next Saturday at 9 a.m. to divide themselves among the local neighborhoods where they distributed the bags this past Saturday. They will pick up all of the donated food and then Mike Maynard, from the Hillcrest-Bruce Mission, will meet them back at the Second Freewill Baptist Church on 29th Street to pick up those donations for the holiday food baskets that the Mission will be distributing.
Any local person that did not find a “Scouting for Food” bag hanging out somewhere on their front porch this past Saturday is welcome to bring donations of non-perishable food to the church at either 9 a.m. before the Scouts leave to walk the neighborhoods or around 10:30 a.m., when they hope to return to the church after gathering up all of the donated items.