The Greater St. Louis Area Council, which includes the city of St. Louis, 27 counties in eastern Missouri and 10 counties in southern Illinois, started Scouting for Food in 1985. Since then, the campaign has grown into the Boy Scouts of America's largest single-day community food drive. Over the years, the campaign has collected 47 million food donations.
It takes a great deal of community support, planning, cooperation, desire, dedication, passion and volunteers to make Scouting for Food the largest single-day community food drive in teh BSA. Here's a look at what Scouting for Food is, how it works and what's new.
What Is Scouting for Food?
Scouting for Food is a week-long food drive that starts and ends on consecutive Saturdays. This year, the drive will start on Saturday, Nov. 9 (Bag Distribution Day), and end Saturday, Nov. 16 (Bag Collection Day).
Bag Distribution Day: On Nov. 9, Scouts in 37 counties will deliver plastic bags to residences all over the St. Louis area, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. During the week, community residents will "thoughtfully give," filling their bags with nutritious canned goods.
Bag Collection Day:
On Nov. 16, the Scouts will retrieve the filled bags from residents and take them to local participating fire houses, where volunteers will box the canned goods. Then, Sunset Transportation, Inc., will lend vehicles and personnel to transport the food to the St. Louis Area Foodbank
. Food collected outside of St. Louis City and County will be taken directly to food pantries in southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.
Ingredients for Success: Through "thoughtful giving," Scouting for Food strives to deliver more than two million cans of food to nearly 500 food pantries that gain more than three months of provisions. Here's the program by numbers...
- 30,000 Scouts (1,000 Scout units)
- 10,000 Volunteers (Scout leaders and families)
- 1.4 million bags
- 43,000 boxes
- 37 counties
- 46 fire stations
Partners: Gathering, sorting, packaging and transporting more than two million cans of food requires a coalition of organizations. This year's partners include the following:
Sunset Transportation, Inc.
, of Sunset Hills, Mo., stepped in to coordinate all logistics for the food collection when the 892nd Transportation Company U.S. Army Reservists were called to active duty and deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Fire Chiefs Association will give access to nearly 50 area fire stations for sorting, packaging and storing donations throughout Bag Collection Day until food can be picked up and delivered to the St. Louis Area Food Bank.
Beneficiaries: The St. Louis Area Foodbank distributes more than 11.5 million pounds of food annually to more than 400 food pantries in the St. Louis bi-state area, ranging from the Salvation Army to small church food pantries. The Foodbank will distribute the Scouting for Food donations from its 40,000 sq. ft. distribution center. The Food Bank distributes food collected in St. Louis and St. Louis County.
Food collected outside of St. Louis and St. Louis County goes directly to food pantries in those communities.