Scout Food Drive Builds
Along With Feeding Hungry
by MaryAnn Gardner
This article about
Scouting For Food first appeared in the South Bend Tribune, November 8, 1988. Although
more than ten years old, the words are still appropriate for Scouts, and for those who
contribute to Scouting's current
food collections throughout the Nation.
permission of South Bend Tribune, South Bend Indiana."
ON NOV. 12
Boy Scouts will be knocking on neighborhood doors throughout the Michiana area. The one
who knocks on your door might wear the tan uniform of a Boy Scout, the blue of a Cub Scout
or the orange of a first-grade Tiger Cub. If the uniform at your. door happens to be that
of an Explorer, it might even be a girl who is a member of one of the local Posts. This
Scout will hand you a bag from an area restaurant and ask your help to fight hunger in
America. You will be participating in the biggest food drive in the history of Scouting,
as Scouting units across the U.S. take part in a national good turn, officially named
Scouting for Food. You will be asked to put food items you wish to contribute into the bag
during the next week Scouts will return the following Saturday, Nov. 19, to collect the
bags of food, which will be taken to a central collection point and distributed to area
Participation of our
local council the Northern Indiana Council of the Boy Scouts of America, was announced in
The Tribune a few weeks ago. If history is any indication, the people of Michiana will
respond to the efforts of our Scouts, not only with food contributions, but plenty of
FOOD DRIVES ARE
nothing new to local Scouting units. Some Packs, Troops and posts include food drives in
their Scouting programs on an annual or semi-annual basis. The Scouts in my household have
participated in such drives with Scouting units in both the Mishawaka and Granger areas.
Their experiences, along with those of their fellow Scouts, show the normal response of
area residents, when asked to help with such an effort, is to open both their hearts, and
their kitchen cupboards.
Scouts swap stories of
those who love. They tell of people who fill a grocery sack or box with food and then
apologize for not giving enough. They remember with fondness those who give only one can
of food, as well as those who have run down the street to catch up with a Scout and
contribute one more thing."
They tell of the lady
who asked one of the Scouts to "Please return before you stop for the day. I'll go
through my cupboard in the meantime." He did. She had. He walked away from her home
with two large boxes of food.
hear such comments as, "Awesome! I asked for a can, of food. She gave me six,' or
"This is neat Can we do it next week, too?"
Many a Scout parent has
experienced a child so moved by the generosity of his community that he returned home
ready to donate. his family's, entire food supply. Usually, such an event culminates with
the parent adding a few extra items to the family donation and offering a silent
"Thank you" for good role models in the neighborhood.
As they walk from door
to door, the Scouts try to guess how many meals will be provided from the food collected.
Since most of them eat breakfast before starting out and will go home to a hot meal when
done, it is difficult for them to imagine how it feels to go to bed hungry. Scout Leaders
try, in other ways, to help them understand the importance of what they are doing. When
reciting the Scout oath for example, a Scout promises to help other people at all
times...... It is the rare Leader, who does not identify a food drive to his Scouts as an
occasion when they have a chance to fulfill that promise.
Scouts believe in
giving something back to the community that nurtures them. Scouting teaches not just
service, but "cheerful" service is necessary for good citizenship. You help
Scouts understand this by your cooperation, your smiles, your generosity and your
encouragement, which all demonstrate that service to others is not only good, but
enjoyable and satisfying, as well.