Help Fill Local Food Pantries By Participating In The Annual Scouting For Food Drive

On Saturday, February 22, the Boy Scouts of Gulf Ridge Council will participate in a nationwide food drive called “Scouting For Food.” Scouts will deliver bags provided by Publix to thousands of homes throughout the greater Brandon area on or about Saturday, February 15.

Residents are asked to fill the bags with non-expired, non-perishable food items such as canned soup, canned meats, pasta, canned vegetables and dried milk. Place the filled bag by your front door on Saturday, February 22, and scouts will come and pick up the bags between 9 a.m. and Noon.

Walter McKnight is the Gulf Ridge Council Scouting For Food Chairman. He has been involved with Scouting for over 32 years and has been conducting the food drive for the last 17 years. McKnight said, “As part of our duty to our country and to help others at all times, we (Scouts) conduct the annual food drive to refill the pantries that feed the hungry. We do it in February because that is when the pantries are empty after taking care of the needy during the holidays.” McKnight added, “Whether you like the Scouts or not, the cause of feeding the hungry needs to be taken care of by those who can. We have been doing this for over 50 years and will continue to do it in the future.”

Last year, the Boy Scouts of Gulf Ridge Council collected over 23,000 pounds of food. Over 14,000 pounds went to ECHO of Brandon and over 9,000 pounds went to various food pantries throughout Eastern Hillsborough County.

Stacey Efaw, Executive Director of ECHO said, “The Scouting For Food Drive is one of the biggest drives of the year. We are very grateful to the Scouts who participate.” Efaw added. “With one in four facing hunger in our area, the need for food is great. We could not serve over 16,000 area residents without the help of the Scouts and the community.”

The annual Scouting For Food Drive allows Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers and Explorers to fulfill their “good turn” commitment to the community and promotes Scouting’s efforts to promote a culture of service to others. McKnight said, “We know that what we teach Scouts when they are young will continue with them through their adult life.”

For more information on ECHO and how to help throughout the year, please visit www.echofl.org.