The Narragansett Council Boy Scouts of America will launch its 25th annual Scouting for Food Drive, the largest food drive in New England, beginning this Saturday. Thousands of Boy Scouts from more than 200 different packs and troops will be going around communities all across the state, dropping off bags for the collection of non-perishable food items. The bags will be collected the following Saturday, Nov. 3 with the food going to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in Providence. Warwick is expected to have approximately 520 scouts canvassing the city during the drive, while Cranston and Johnston will have roughly 480 and 60 scouts in their towns, respectively.
The Scouting for Food Drive has seen tremendous success over the years, with last year’s drive collecting nearly 300,000 pounds of food. Since it began in 1988, the Narragansett Council has collected more than 7.8 million pounds of food, all in an effort to help feed the needy.
Donors are asked to provide non-perishable foods, in particular ones that are high in protein (canned soup, tuna, meats, peanut butter) and carbohydrates (nutritious cereals, crackers, whole wheat pasta and rice), as well as canned fruits and vegetables. All other non-perishable foods will still be greatly appreciated.
John Mosby, executive and CEO of the Narragansett Council, is a firm advocate of the program, as he believes it instills lifelong lessons in the Scouts while helping out a group of people in need at the same time.
“The annual Scouting for Food Drive has not only helped our neighbors in need, but it has also shown our Scouts how the community can and will step forward to help others less fortunate than themselves,” he said in a statement.
He is confident that this year’s participation by the community will be equal, if not greater than those in the past.
“This year marks a significant milestone for the drive, and we are confident the community will once again come together and help those less fortunate,” he added.
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank, where the donations from the drive will be going, has been a constant source of aid for the hungry population in the state, which currently stands at around 65,000 people, a third of whom are under the age of 18.
“The need for food assistance has continued to grow since the start of the economic recession,” Andrew Schiff, chief executive officer of the Rhode Island Food Bank, said in a statement. “The issue really hits home for hardworking families who are doing their best to put food on the table for their children.”
He also notes the Scouts and how they are great role models through their dedication over the years, as both community activists and role models.
“Their significant contribution helps us to keep food on the shelves of local emergency food programs during the cold winter months,” he said.
Those who would like to make donations this year, but will not receive visits from Boy Scouts in their neighborhoods, can do so at their local Walgreen’s from Nov. 3 to 17.