ELMIRA – Five Rivers Council Boy Scouts of America has announced its 2023 food drive, “Scouting for Food.” This national program has been collecting food for local pantries since 1985.
The Council serves Cub Scout Packs and Scout Troops in Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben counties in NY, and in Bradford, Sullivan, and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania.
“In 2022, Scouts in our council collected over 17,000 items and provided them to over 14
different organizations in the Twin Tiers,” said Codie Sauers, Endless Mountains District
Executive. “At this time of year, Scouting recognizes that many local families turn to food
pantries for needed support. Community service is a vital part of Scouting and the kids love
knowing they can help.
The year the event takes place over the first and second weekends of November. On
November 4th, Scouts will hang instruction cards for how to participate on door handles in their local neighborhoods. Households then leave non-perishable food items on their doorsteps on November 11th for the Scouts to collect.
Some units will also have Fill the Tent events at area Top’s Friendly Markets. Scouts will
set up a small tent near the entry of participating stores for shoppers to fill with donated food items.
The program definitely has a far reaching and positive impact on food pantries across the region.
“Church & Community Program’s food pantry serves more than 500 people a month from
the Canton area. Every can or box of food, every extra bag of fruit or vegetables all goes to good use,” said Connie Jenkins, Director of the Church & Community Program in Canton, NY. “We thank Scouting for Food for making it easy for people to set aside something for pantries like ours!”
Here closer to home, the Big Flats Community Food Pantry is also looking forward to the annual Scouting for Food event.
“Many people in our neighborhood are currently looking for help due to food
insecurity and the pantry is serving more households than ever before,” said Julie Spangenberg, one of the Pantry’s organizers. “This food drive is the biggest of the year. It helps to defray the cost of buying food and brings in a wonderful diversity of food items to share with our neighbors.”
“The Pantry and our neighbors appreciate the food so generously given, the personal effort of the Scouts to do a good turn and the feeling of community that this food drive brings with it,” Spangenberg added. “Right now, our shelves are mostly empty, but we know they will be full once again after the Scouting for Food drive.”