Cub and Boy Scouts from four area packs and troops participated in the week-long Scouting for Food donation effort, which collected a total of 2,651 pounds of nonperishable food for La Plata County residents in need.
Part of the Great Southwest Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scout packs 508 and 502, and Boy Scout troops 501 and 538, participated in the food drive from Feb. 10 to Feb. 17. Tim Papi, leader of Cub Scout Pack 502, lauded the donation effort an overall success.
“The scouts covered a lot of ground and we are thankful to live in such a giving community. We owe our community a big ‘thank you’ for all of the support we received,” Papi said.
Scouts distributed empty food bags to homes on Feb. 10 and instructed residents to fill them with nonperishable food items. A week later, on Feb. 17, the bags of food were placed next to front doors and picked up by scouts, and donations were dropped off in the Needham Elementary School parking lot. All donations were delivered to Durango Food Bank to aid the 12.8 percent of La Plata County residents who struggle with food insecurity.
Durango Food Bank director Sarah Smith said the donation effort has been held annually for the 15 years she’s spent as a volunteer and director for the food bank. The 2,651 pounds of food that was recorded this year compares with:
3,171 pounds collected in 20172,035 pounds collected in 20161,606 pounds collected in 2015“The weather and neighborhoods being visited can play a large role in the success of these drives each year,” added Smith.
The food bank received donations that consisted of canned and boxed nonperishable food; a considerable amount of breakfast items, such as pancake mix, syrup, cereal, etc.; canned vegetables, soup and beans; marshmallows; candy from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and more.
“This drive is especially touching as I watch these amazing scouts grow year after year,” said Smith. “These youths are amazing examples of active participants in their community as they give up their weekends and time to help our most at-risk neighbors who are struggling.”
Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop leaders who coordinated the food drive included: Rick Petersen and Mary Bates of Cub Scout Pack 508; Glenn Gundrey and Tim Papi of Cub Scout Pack 502; Rob Kolter and Kenn Bates of Boy Scout Troop 501; and Jeff Mason and Rocky Gallegos of Boy Scout Troop 538.
The Scouting For Food campaign is an annual service project, and those involved, scouts, parents and food bank volunteers alike, hope to improve it every year.