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Scouting for Food will again collect tens of thousands of pounds for food pantries

SALISBURY – More than 250 scouts and 100 leaders will be out and about Saturday, leaving bags at residences to collect food.

Scouting for Food is a national program of Boy Scouts of America. The regional district, the Sapona District, collects and distributes tens of thousands of pounds of food. Food Lion donates 21,000 pounds of food alone, and the rest is collected from the community.

Salisbury and Rowan County residents are likely to see the scouts and scout leaders roving around town.

The entire affair is for a good cause, to restock local food pantries, but it is also a learning opportunity for scouts. They will knock on doors as they leave the bags. If folks answer, scouts will talk to them. Later, they will collect all the bags, bring them to the pantries and sort all of the food. It’s an event for kids at all levels.

Ann Barber, district chair, said the program began in 1985 after a scout was stocking a pantry for a service project and saw the prevalence of hunger and food insecurity.

“You’re going to see lots of uniforms on Saturday morning,” Barber said.

There are other groups that contribute, including churches who plan to donate substantial amounts of food.

Barber said scouts are told Scouting for Food is a service where participants do not see the immediate results. The pantries are bare when they go in and stocked when they leave, but the supply only lasts so long, and the scouts do not interact with pantry clients.

Kevin Fuller, cubmaster for Pack 328 and a training chair for the county, said his favorite part of the event is feeding the hungry, adding it is a passion of his to try to provide food for those in need.

Fuller said interactions for the kids have always been positive, and that it seems to lift their spirits. Scouts get to have fun outdoors in the process and it’s a little shot in the arm of enthusiasm, he said.

“Sorting the food at Rowan Helping Ministries is a huge lesson and impact,” Fuller said, adding a lot of kids do not have many interactions with food pantries.

The scouts will come back around to collect the bags of food on Feb. 1. Anyone is free to donate. Any organization who would like to contribute to the project, can email Ann Barber at annbarber739@gmail.com.

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