ST. LOUIS – Thousands of Scouts will be canvassing area neighborhoods this weekend as they deliver more than one million Scouting For Food bags to local residents on Saturday. Scouts will return one week later on Nov. 19 to collect the bags full of donated canned goods. This year’s campaign, sponsored by MERS Missouri Goodwill, marks the Boy Scouts’ 32nd annual Scouting For Food drive.
The largest one-day food drive in the Boy Scouts of America, Scouts throughout St. Louis, southeast Missouri, and southern Illinois collect approximately 2 million donated food items during Scouting For Food. The food is delivered to a network of about 500 food pantries throughout the region and provides more than 500,000 meals annually for families in need.
“Participating in the Scouting For Food program is a proud tradition for our community,” said Ronald Green, Scout Executive/CEO of the Greater St. Louis Area Council. “We appreciate the community’s generosity year after year. The food drive is important not only because it helps those in need, but it also teaches our children the value of serving others.”
Scouting For Food comes at an important time of year. As colder temperatures settle in, many families are forced to cut their food budget in order to keep the heat on. Scouting For Food also helps make the holidays a little brighter for families in need.
“We are honored to sponsor the Scouting for Food initiative and support the thousands of Scouts from the Greater St. Louis Area Council in their push for food donations,” said David Kutchback, President and CEO of MERS Goodwill. “The annual food drive shows the impact of bringing communities together for a cause and reflects MERS Goodwill’s commitment to supporting Individuals in their path to employment and independent living.”
Canned good donations in the St. Louis area are picked up by Scouts and taken to local fire stations where it is sorted and boxed. Sunset Transportation, Inc., provides vehicles, equipment, and volunteer drivers to then transport the donations to the St. Louis Area FoodBank. In communities outside St. Louis, Scouts deliver donations directly to local food pantries. Within 48 hours of the Scouts’ pick-up, the first donations are on food pantry shelves, ready to feed the hungry.
Residents who do not receive a bag can take canned food donations to any Goodwill store location Nov. 20-26.