By ROSIE GITHINJI
MT. VERNON — —
Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack 103 were running around the St. Mary’s Parish Center gym on Saturday morning sorting out food collected from the Scouting for Food drive.
The food drive began a week ago, with bags being tied to the doorknobs of neighborhoods around Mt. Vernon and were collected and sorted into categories, which were then picked up by five local food pantries.
Debbie Wright, a parent involved with the Boy Scouts troop, said the boys were separated into 12 groups and assigned neighborhoods in which to distribute bags and then collect the food a week later.
Those donating were asked for non-perishable food or paper items. The boys participating can also earn service hours for the work they do for the food drive.
“We are trying to teach them what it’s like to give service to others,” she said.
Marilyn Copenhaver, president of the council at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, was at the food drive to collect food for her churches food pantry. She said between the Scouting for Food drive and the “Stamp out Hunger” food drive conducted by the postal service, the food pantry shelves stay stocked with much needed items.
“This is such a blessing to us. They do a great job,” she said, explaining the food pantry no longer receives money from the government to help buy food items. “We try not to take more than we need for our shelves.”
She said the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church pantry is open each Thursday from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and many of their clients have referrals from schools or social services.
The pantry hands out food items based on the number of people in the household, Copenhaver said, and they try to give enough food to last a week.
Twenty-three scouts and 23 adults participated in this years food drive and collected 3,773 food items this year, up from 3,300 items collected last year.