More than 200 Boy Scout Packs and Troops from across Southern New England participated in this year’s Scouting for Food drive collecting 215,000 pounds of canned goods from families and individuals. Donation pick-ups took place Saturday, and were delivered to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and other local food pantries.
“This year’s Scouting for Food drive will help feed thousands of people,” said Joe DeStefano, Volunteer Coordinator for the food drive since it began in 1987. “The Scouts who participated worked very hard to help their communities.”
DeStefano began volunteering for Scouting for Food 30 years ago. Under his leadership, the Scouts have collected more than 9.2 million pounds of food for neighbors in need.
A total of 146,000 Rhode Islanders live in poverty. Each month, 59,000 of those residents seeks assistance through the Food Bank’s network of emergency food programs. Twelve percent of Rhode Island households struggle to afford nutritious meals, and 4.7 percent of Rhode Island households experience severe hunger.
Over the years, the Scouts have collected more than 8.9 million pounds of food for the Food Bank.
“The hard work and dedication that the Narragansett Council Scouts have shown this year is tremendous,” said Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “This food drive is essential to serving the one in eight Rhode Islanders in need of food assistance, especially as we head into colder weather.”
Scouting for Food is a cooperative effort supported by the Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, WPRI-12 News, Fox Providence, the Rhode Island National Guard, The Valley Breeze and area fire stations.
Those unable to participate in the Scouting for Food drive but would like to give, are asked to visit their local food pantry or the RI Community Food Bank located at 200 Niantic Ave., Providence. Food can also be dropped off at one of our two Scout Shops: West Bay Scout Shop at 1276 Bald Hill Rd, Warwick and the East Bay Scout Shop at 79 Swansea Mall Dr., Swansea, Mass.