A trio of local Scout packs and troops returned into their respective communities Saturday morning, collecting bags filled with canned and non-perishable donations of food. The effort was the final step in this year’s annual Scouting for Food Good Turn food drive.
The previous Saturday had seen scouts distribute bags at homes throughout the Pilot Mountain, Shoals and Pinnacle communities, notifying residents of the drive and asking for donations of food supplies.
Scouts from Pilot Mountain #545, Shoals #561 and Pinnacle #400 each returned to cover their own communities and some surrounding areas before delivering the gathered food to the Pilot Mountain Outreach Center.
Troop and Pack 545 began their morning with a traditional pancake breakfast in the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. Fifty-two Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, leaders and volunteers took part during the morning.
After their meal, scouts and adults dispersed in teams with Cub Scouts collecting food from inside the town limits while Boy Scouts focused on outlying areas.
By late morning, an estimated 3,070 pounds of food had been collected by the troop and pack. Scouts then accompanied the mass quantity of food to the outreach center, where they unloaded it to be disbursed as needed to area residents.
“We were pleased with what these kids were able to do,” Troop 545 Scoutmaster Donnie Diamont said. “Our donations were up this year. The older scouts helped with the younger ones and it all worked out really well. We’re proud of them all.”
Pinnacle Troop and Pack 400 also reported a busy morning, collecting an estimated 2,300 pounds of food while Shoals Troop and Pack 561 took top honors for the day with donations estimated at 3,800 pounds.
“Our donations may have been down a little this year,” noted Troop 561’s Bobby Key. “But we had a good turnout of scouts and everybody worked together. It was a good day.”
According to Pilot Mountain Outreach Center Co-Director Jimmy Caparolie, the Scouting For Food project is one of three major efforts held early in the year that cumulatively bring in about one-third to one-half of the food the center will distributed throughout the year. The two other annual efforts are the holiday Friends Feeding Friends Food Drive, involving area schools, and the Postal Service effort held in early May.
“We appreciate the scouts doing this,” Caparolie said. “It comes at a good time and it’s a blessing. A whole lot of food comes in on this one day and all of it stays in our community. Between this and our other two major food drives, that’s several thousand pounds of food that we couldn’t get any other way. There’s no doubt that not having it would change what we’re able to do.”