Scouts to collect items for food pantry

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Feeding an average of 120 people each month has taken a toll on the Community Food Pantry housed at St. John’s Catholic Church. 

“We’ve had to take cash donations and buy food to have enough for area families,  so Scouting for Food could not have come at a better time,” Ruth H. Baxter, treasurer for the food pantry said.  “We are out of everything that fills a basic food basket – from spaghetti sauce to macaroni and cheese.”

Boy Scouts from Troop 131, Cubs  from Troop 418,  Girl Scouts from Troops 2780, 902, 769 and 306,  and high school volunteers will hit the streets of the community as the 26th annual Scoutng for Food project begins Saturday, Nov. 10.  The scouts will be providing each home with a door knob hanger reminding them that the following Saturday, on Nov. 17, at 9 a.m., they will return to the local houses seeking donations of non-perishable food to be used through the Community Food Pantry housed at St. John’s Church and at the Carroll County Crisis Center. 

“Financial struggles continue to plague our community,” Baxter said.  “While more people are working than in past years, the cost of food has risen significantly and it’s hard to stretch a dollar to feed the family.”

Food collected during this project accounts for 80 percent of all food donations to the food banks during the year. The donated food assists those local families who need help because of family catastrophes, layoffs caused by the recession, lost employment due to weather conditions, and illness. More than 2,000 families receive food baskets during the year, with an additional 250 families receiving food during the holidays alone.

Volunteers are needed to assist the scouts in their project, explained Scott Nab, Scoutmaster who coordinates the project this year.  

“We can use all the help we can get both this Saturday and next Saturday,” he said, “as this is a one-time-a year project that can result in over 10,000 food items that will be used throughout the upcoming holidays and the months ahead.”

At least 50 people are needed to walk for the collection; others are needed to drive the routes.

Last year’s food drive set a record for items collected as more than 16,000 items were donated through this collection and a simultaneous food drive at the Carroll County schools. Phillip Morris International has agreed this year to again provide $5,000 toward the expense of buying the milk, margarine, bread, and hamburger that is included in a Christmas basket.

“The door knob reminders we place on everyone’s home this week tell everyone to fill their own grocery sacks with food and to place the sacks on the front steps for next Saturday’s pick up,” Nab said.

To volunteer, meet in the parking lot at St. John’s Church at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, to be assigned a specific street on which to distribute the door-knob reminders.  It should take about an hour of walking. Volunteers also will be needed at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, to help return to the streets to pick up donated items, and to sort and shelve the donated items in the food pantry in the basement of St. John’s Church.

Areas of the community covered by the food drive include the city of Carrollton, M&T Road, and the subdivisions of Indian Hills, Sycamore Trace and Camelia Court Apartments.  If sufficient volunteers are available, then the communities of Ghent, Sanders and Worthville will also be covered.

For more information about Scouting for Food, contact Baxter at (502) 732-6688 or Nab at (502) 732-9208.