Boy Scouts Complete 30th Annual Food Drive 215,000 pounds of food collected for Rhode Island Food Bank and other pantries
Providence (November 8, 2017) – The Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America held its 30th Annual “Scouting for Food Good Turn” drive from October 28 through November 4 across Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Connecticut. Thousands of Scouts distributed door hangers to neighbors’ homes seeking donations of nutritional, non-perishable canned goods. The annual initiative, which is the largest food drive in New England, highlights one of Scouting’s primary focuses – doing a “Good Turn” daily. 215,000 pounds of food were collected this year.
More than 200 Scouting Packs and Troops from across Southern New England participated in the drive by collecting canned goods from families and individuals. Donation pick-ups took place Saturday, November 4 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. 12% of Rhode Island households struggle to afford nutritious meals, and 4.7% 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 1 in 8 Rhode Islanders in need of food assistance, especially as we head into colder weather.”
“Scouting for Food is an important event for the communities we are a part ofin Southern New England. Each year, we aim to feed more and more of the hungry,” said Tim McCandless, Scout Executive/CEO. “Our communities gave generously and we thank all who participated.”
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.
“The Scouts of the Narragansett Council were excited to participate in the food drive, and their eagerness certainly paid off,” said DeStefano. “Not only was the drive successful, but it also allowed our Scouts to learn the importance of helping people in need. We will continue to offer the chance for everybody to partake in the spirit of generosity.”
If you were not able to participate in the Scouting for Food drive but would like to give, please visit your 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 RI
East Bay Scout Shop at 79 Swansea Mall Dr., Swansea MA
About the Narragansett Council: The Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America’s mission is to serve others by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law in young people and, in other ways, prepare them to achieve their full potential. The Council offers a program for boys and young men ages 6 to 21 and young women ages 14 to 21, serving over 13,000 in Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts, and Pawcatuck, Connecticut. For more information, please log on to www.narragansettbsa.org.