Local scouts help with 32nd annual Scouting for Food Drive

Scouting+for+Food+collected+nearly+2+million+food+items+Nov.+11.
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Local scouts help with 32nd annual Scouting for Food Drive

Scouting for Food collected nearly 2 million food items Nov. 11.

Scouting for Food collected nearly 2 million food items Nov. 11.

Derek Isele

Scouting for Food collected nearly 2 million food items Nov. 11.

Derek Isele

Derek Isele

Scouting for Food collected nearly 2 million food items Nov. 11.

Derek Isele, Staff Writer

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Every year, over 30,000 Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts venture into the brisk November morning winds to collect canned goods in their neighborhood as a part of the community outreach program, Scouting for Food.

Through the cold and the rain, scouts once again piled into cars and trucks to patrol their neighborhoods for food bags they had dropped off just a week before. Locally, Scouting for Food collects an average of 2 million canned goods that go to 500 Missouri and Illinois food pantries, making it the largest one-day food drive in the St. Louis area.

“I’ve been a part of Scouting for Food since first grade, and it’s always more fun than you would expect,” senior and soon-to-be Eagle Scout Eric Hintz said. “When I was younger, riding in the back of an open trunk was the most exciting thing you could do. Of course, they don’t let kids do that anymore.”

Once food is collected, scouts drive to firehouses to sort out the donations into boxes of canned and dry goods.

“The sort is crazy,” Hintz said. “People load boxes like their life depends on it.”

The boxes are then loaded into trucks, which relocate them to food pantries and shelters.

Sophomore Bailey Mosher has been participating in Scouting for Food for 10 years, and has continued to help even as an Eagle Scout.

“The pantries are the ones that really help people,” Mosher said. “We just collect the food for them.”

According to Mosher, transporting food donations is the most chaotic part of the process. It begins with younger scouts piling bags of food into a wall standing about two feet high in the middle of the floor. From here, scouts, siblings, parents and grandparents alike rip bags from the stacks and quickly pile items into boxes that are lifted away and labeled by workers. Finally, full boxes are stacked at the back of the firehouse where they wait to be loaded out onto a truck by older scouts.

“It’s nice to know we are helping the community,” Mosher said. “We are helping the less privileged get the food they need, so the work is its own reward.”

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